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Champs Kipyego, Jepchumba put titles on line in Czech Half Marathon

Friday - September 15, 2017 7:06 pm , Category : SPORTS

Nairobi Sep 15 (IANS) Defending champion Barselius Kipyego and Violah Jepchumba of Kenya will start as favourites at the Mattoni Labem Half Marathon in the north-central Czech city on Saturday.



Kipyego who set the race record with his 59:15 minutes personal best last year is one of four men in the field who have dipped under the one-hour mark for the distance reports Xinhua news agency.

The others are Kenyan Kenneth Keter who clocked 59:48 last year; Lahbabi Aziz of Morocco who ran 59:25 in 2014 and another Kenyan Solomon Kirwa Yego who clocked 58:44 last year on the fast Ostia course.

Yego has the best time of the entrants this season at 59:50 from February s Ras Al Khaimah race where he finished fourth.

The 30-year-old impressed at the Paris Marathon two months later where he clocked a 2:07:12 hours lifetime best to finish fourth.

Kipyego 24 clocked 1:00:47 in his only half marathon this year finishing fourth in Prague in April.

Keter ran 1:01:05 in Ras Al Khaimah in February where he finished eighth and Lahbabi 1:02:17 in Istanbul in April.

Ismail Juma of Tanzania and Kenyans Josphat Kiprop Kiptis and Josphat Kimutai Tanui with 1:00:09 1:00:21 and 1:00:38 bests respectively should be in the hunt as well.

Jepchumba 26 leads the women s field. The Kenyan is one of history s fastest women over 10km and the half marathon with 30:05 and 1:05:22 lifetime bests to rank second and fifth over the distances all-time.

Others in the hunt include Lucy Cheruiyot the runner-up last year at 1:08:17 and Yvonne Jelagat whose current personal best stands at 1:08:19.

Kenyans Stacy Jepkemboi Ndiwa and Lydia Rotich who have clocked 1:10:08 and 1:10:57 could play a role as well.

--IANS
gau/pur/dg

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