- - 02nd Nov 2012 00:00:00 GMT +0300
By Jonathan Komen
Olympic bronze medalist Wilson Kipsang and Boston Marathon winner Sharon Cherop will be hoping to shine during the ING New York City Marathon on Sunday.
Kipsang, who is among the three Olympic marathon medalists drafted for New York, makes his debut in the American race as he guns for a bite of the cherry at the Big Apple.
He basks in his world’s second all-time 42km mark of 2:03.42 he set at the BMW Frankfurt Marathon last year.
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Kipsang, however, will certainly find no difficulty competing in the hilly New York course, having been born and bred in the rocky Kerio Valley’s Muskut village.
For one month, the religious Kipsang has been training with Geoffrey Mutai, the New York Marathon course record holder, at Kapng’etuny Athletics Club in Uasin Gishu.
“I have trained well. I rest the remaining part to God. My manager Gerard Van de Veen (of Volare Sports in Netherlands) advised me to relocate from Iten to Kapng’etuny to avoid getting disturbed,” Kipsang told FeverPitch on Wednesday.
Kipsang has posted good results while competing in flat courses –London and Frankfurt marathons –and New York would be quite challenging.
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His manager, Gerard Van de Veen, was confident Kipsang’s training with Mutai will pay some dividends.
“We expect Mutai to have sharpened and motivated Kipsang for good results. The New York Marathon is special and an athlete like Martin Lel has an advantage of knowing the course well,” Van de Veen told FeverPitch in a telephone from Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Kipsang will be up against two-time New York Marathon winner Lel, who is fresh from winning the Rock N’ Roll Lisbon Half Marathon 1:01:28 last September.
Lel, who has three London Marathon wins under his medal-laden belt, returns to New York alongside Ed Moran, the Staten Island native who finished ninth last year in his marathon debut.
Cherop is set to offer a mouth-watering clash against Ethiopia’s Olympic Marathon winner Tiki Gelana and bronze medalist Tatyana Arkhipova of Russia.
SEE ALSO :Kenyans battle Ethiopians in Boston after Paris loss
The alumnus of athletics-rich Sing’ore Girls in Keiyo North, will team up with her Iten home neighbour Edna Kiplagat, the World Championships winner and 2010 New York Marathon winner.
The duo will compete for the first time since registering a 1-2-3 win at the 2011 Daegu.
Cherop said: “I have prepared well but the problem is that I have not competed in New York. I only pray to God to maintain shape.”
But Kiplagat said she had picked up since a sub-67 at the Budapest Half Marathon.
“I have responded well. I’m well versed with the course but the presence of top athletes will make it challenging,” said Kiplagat.
SEE ALSO :Boston Marathon: Kenyans hope to impress
Ethiopia’s Gelana, Arkhipova and Kenyan-born Dutch citizen Hilda Kibet will also be making debut in New York this Sunday.
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Boston Marathon Olympic bronze