Boston marathon: Cherono gears up for title defence

By Stephen Rutto: Tuesday, January 28th 2020 at 00:01 GMT +3 | Athletics
Lawrence Cherono, of Kenya, holds the trophy after winning the 123rd Boston Marathon, on Monday, April 15, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

Chicago marathon champion Lawrence Cherono is set to defend his title at the Boston Marathon in April after winning the race in a thrilling finish last year.

Last year, Cherono took Boston by storm, edging out Ethiopia’s Lelisa Dedisa in a sprint finish.

The two-time Amsterdam marathon winner (2017 and 2018) said he is preparing well for the title defence.

“It was tough last year and I’m preparing well to improve my time in this year’s edition,” the Kaptagat-based runner said in Eldoret.

He described the 2019 race as dramatic, recalling how he saved some gas for the final finish, which paid off.

Cherono who set the Honolulu marathon course record of 2:08:27 in 2017 said he is ready to face his challengers.

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“I am going on well with training in Kaptagat and I can only hope to do my best in Boston. I am in good shape and I am thankful for the support from fans and my coach,” Cherono said.

During the 2019 race, Cherono out-sprinted Desisa, the 2018 New York City Marathon, overtaking him in the last few yards and cutting the tape in 2:07:57, just two seconds ahead of the Ethiopian.

His Kenyan compatriot Kenneth Kipkemoi came in third. Cherono had to be helped by race officials as he wobbled to the podium for the post-race ceremony after the voracious finish.

Cherono, also the 2015 Seville marathon winne,r said he has a strong desire to represent the country if he will be picked Olympics Games in August.

“I have not represented the country at the Olympics. It will be a great honour if I will be part of the team to Tokyo,” said Cherono, who also won Prague Marathon in 2015.

Besides Desisa, Cherono will face off  with 2018 Boston winner Yuki Kawauchi of Japan and his compatriot Geoffrey Kirui, who has a personal best of 2:06:27 he recorded at the 2016 Amsterdam marathon. Also chasing the title in Boston is 2012 Olympic Marathon champion and 2013 World Athletics Championships gold medalist Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda. [Stephen Rutto]

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