Kenya's Geoffrey Mutai to participate in Tokyo Marathon
Nairobi, Jan 29 (IANS)
Former New York City Marathon champion Geoffrey Mutai and Dickson Chumba will lead Kenya's charge in the Tokyo Marathon February 28. However, the 34-year-old Mutai is not keen to compete at the World Championships and will only be using the race to improve his personal best time of two hours, four minutes and 15 seconds that he set in Berlin three years ago, reports Xinhua.
"Running the World Championships is not up to me. It is Athletics Kenya's (AK) responsibility to select a team. At the moment, I have a programme for the year and it starts with Tokyo. It is my first time to run in Tokyo but marathon is always adventurous when competing on a relatively new course and I am looking forward to it," Mutai said.
The Kenyan will compete against Olympic champion Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda, who will be returning to Tokyo for the second time after finishing third in 2012.
"I am truly honoured to be able to run the Tokyo Marathon again. I regret that I finished third in 2012, but later that year, I turned that defeat into a great victory at the London Olympics. This time round, I'm determined to do my best so that I could turn my bitter memory into a wonderful one," said Kiprotich.
Organisers are keen for the elite athletes to improve on Ethiopia's Tsegaye Kebede time of 2:05:18, an all-time record in Japan, which was set at the 2009 Fukuoka International Marathon.