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Lonyangata returns to Shanghai in quest for marathon gold

Saturday - November 16, 2019 6:32 pm , Category : SPORTS
Nairobi, Nov 16 (IANS) Former Shanghai Marathon champion Paul Lonyangata on Saturday said he is back to his best after he dropped out of the World Marathon Championships with an injury.
Lonyangata returns to China on Sunday in a hunt for his title, which he won in 2015.

"I was unlucky in Doha and my body suffered because of the heat and the humidity. I have recovered though and am looking forward to trying and reclaiming my title back," Lonyangata said.

"I love running in China. It has very good fans and they cheer you along the way. Shanghai has a hard course and with top athletes on parade, I need to be in best shape to challenge for the honours," he added.

Lonyangata is among the favourites in the men's race. The 26-year-old Kenyan set his best time of 2:06:10 when winning the 2017 Paris Marathon, the first of two victories in the French capital, reports Xinhua news agency.

He set the Shanghai course record of 2:07:14 in 2015 and has a season's best of 2:07:29, set when finishing third in Paris in May.

"My training has gone smooth and I feel I need one win to end the season on a high. I am ready for the challenge in Shanghai," Lonyangata added.

He will be up against compatriots 2011 world silver medallist Vincent Kipruto and Ernest Ngeno, a 2:06:41 performer who finished second in Shanghai two years ago.

Sunday's race will be his fourth marathon of the year as he has also competed in Mumbai and Cape Town but didn't better on either occasion.

In the women's race, defending champion Yebrgual Melese will be the athlete to beat having won comfortably last year, taking more than a minute off the course record with 2:20:36.

--IANS kk/bg