Athletics: Chumba eyes glory in Tokyo

By Ben Ahenda: Wednesday, February 26th 2020 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Athletics
Kenya's Brian Mutua during the International Table Tennis Federation Africa Cup at Kasarani Gymnasium, March 1, 2018. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Kenya’s Dickson Chumba hopes to be third time lucky on his return to the Tokyo marathon course for the seventh time on Sunday.

“I always train with a focus to win. I have run every Tokyo marathon since 2014 and finished among the top three podium positions. I feel it will be my turn again this time round,” Chumba said on Monday as he prepared to depart for Tokyo.

In all the six past shows in the Japanese capital, Chumba has never finished below the third position.

Only twice did he go on to win the race in his debut in 2014 and four years later in 2018.

The organizers have restricted entry to this year’s race to only elite runners owing to the risk of the coronavirus. But even that has not dampened Chumba’s spirit.

“I believe that was done so that they may have a limited number of athletes, whom they can control. There will be no health risks because they have covered all the avenues and put in place the right medical interventions. I am ready for the Tokyo marathon,” said Chumba. Last year, Chumba lost his title to Ethiopian Birhanu Legese finishing third in 2:08:44 behind compatriot Bedan Karoki.

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He went on to claim the seventh spot at the Chicago marathon in 2:09:11.

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