NAIROBI, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) — There will be no love lost as former Boston Marathon champion Sharon Cherop takes on reigning champion Priscah Cherono in the Singapore marathon on Sunday.
Cherop (2:22:28), a former winner in Hamburg is keen to improve her time and feels Cherono may be the biggest stumbling block in her path to victory in Singapore.
“I know she wants a second title. But I am up there ready for the battle. It will not be easy for anyone and the best-trained runner will excel,” said Cherop on Friday.
Cherop and Cherono are part of the Kenyan team heading to the Asian city-state. Others are Ethiopia’s Mamitu Daska (2:21:59) and Kenyans Valentine Kipketer (2:22:28) and Stella Barsosio (2:23:02).
“Last year we had no big challenge. We actually talked with Stella earlier on in the race and agreed not to push the pace too early as it appeared to be too humid,” Cherono said. “It will be different this time because we have top names joining us.”
The men’s champion Joshua Kipkorir, who won the race in 2:12:20 last year, says he is not letting his title go without a fight.
Kipkorir, who missed the course record by less than a minute will face a field including Ethiopia’s Yemane Tsegay (2:04:48) and former world bronze medalist Uganda’s Solomon Mutai (2:08:25) plus Asian 10,000m champion Hassan Chani (2:14:32).