Road Race: Keitany, Kosgei to square out

By Xinhua: Friday, September 6th 2019 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Athletics
Kenya's Mary Keitany wins the women's elite race of the Great North Run half-marathon in South Shields, northeast England on September 10, 2017 [Courtesy]

There will be no love lost when Mary Keitany and Brigid Kosgei clash on the streets of Newcastle, United Kingdom, in the Great North Run on Sunday.

The two last met in London in April, with Kosgei snatching the gold medal in dominant style heralding a change of guard from 37-year-old Keitany to the new girl on the bloc. But the veteran Keitany will seek another chance to prove she is no spent force in their big clash over the half marathon distance in Newcastle, in a race won last year by Vivian Cheruiyot with Kosgei coming in second.

Keitany is preparing to defend her New York City Marathon title on November 3, while Kosgei will be putting her Chicago Marathon gold on the line on October 13. "Another chance to gauge my preparations for the Chicago Marathon. I will be running in Newcastle," said Kosgei on Wednesday. Keitany has a PB of 64:55 for the half marathon, whereas Kosgei clocked a best of 65:28 for the 13.1 mile-distance earlier this year.

Linet Masai, the 2009 world 10,000m champion, together with her younger sister Magdalene, will bolster the Kenyan presence in Newcastle.

The leading locals in the women's race at the Great North Run are Charlotte Purdue and Steph Twell.

In men's race, Britain's Mo Farah will face opposition from Ethiopia's world marathon silver medalist Tamirat Tola, world fourth-placer Callum Hawkins and training partner Bashir Abdi. There is big British interest in the event, with Purdue using the race as part of her build-up to this year's World Marathon Championships in Doha.

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