Veteran Wilson to face off with upcoming compatriots next month

By Denis Okeyo: Thursday, October 12th 2017 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Athletics
Kenya's Wilson Kipsang (L) and his compatriot Gideon Kipketer (R) celebrate after crossing the finish line in the men's category of the Tokyo Marathon in Tokyo on February 26, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / KAZUHIRO NOGI

Wilson Kipsang has been handed a chance by New York City Marathon organisers to redeem himself after a disappointing Berlin Marathon show last month.

Kispang, 35, will be in the professional athlete field of the event slated for Sunday, November 5 to atone for a difficult season.

The 2012 London Olympic Marathon bronze medalist started the year on high by setting a course record of 2:03:58 at the Tokyo Marathon but found the going tough at 44th edition of BMW Berlin Marathon when he dramatically pulled out with 30km covered.

Kipsang will hope to re-ignite his love affair with New York, nicknamed Big Apple, the venue he won the TCS New York City Marathon in 2014 in 2:10:59 to beat the Ethiopia’s Lelisa Desisa.

The former world record holder has run under 2:05 eight times, the most of any runner in history. Kipsang will go head to head with the  likes of IAAF World Cross Country Champion Geoffrey Kamworor, 2007 World Youth 3000m silver medalist Lucas Rotich, defending champions Ghirmay Ghebreslassie of Eritrea.

In the women line up, the organisers also included Buzunesh Deba of Ethiopia as a late entrant to previously announced professional athlete field that, which now includes 12 past champions and 22 Olympians.

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Deba will go toe to toe with Kenyans Mary Keitany, Betsy Saina and the 2017 World silver medalist Edna Kiplagat among others.

“We are thrilled to welcome back Wilson and Buzunesh to the TCS New York City Marathon, where they have both had great success before,” said Peter Ciaccia, president of events for New York Road Runners and race director of the TCS New York City Marathon on the race website. 

He added: “An already talented professional athlete field just became stronger, as both Wilson and Buzunesh will challenge for podium positions. It will be great for the millions of fans watching in New York City and around the world to see these two world-class runners take to the five-borough course”.

Kipsang quoted as saying: “My training was excellent before Berlin, but I had a bad day there.”

“Now, I am very happy and thankful I was given a chance to use my training effort in New York City, and will try to win there as I did three years ago.”

He also posted on his official Twitter account: “Very happy to confirm I will be running New York City Marathon in a few weeks.”