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Top stars set for tough duel in Eldoret City Marathon contest

Emily Chebet (centre), Joyce Chepkirui (right) and Florence Kiplagat during 2014 Commonwealth Games 10,000m final. [AFP]

They have crossed the seas, stole the headlines and shipped home millions from foreign lands.

Others opted to switch their nationalities searching for greener pastures. Covid-19 pandemic challenges notwithstanding, they continued training hard and nursing huge dreams.

On Sunday, they will strive to dazzle home fans with spectacular showing at the Eldoret City Marathon.

The start line reads from two-time World Cross Country champion Emily Chebet, former Amsterdam Marathon winner Valentine Kipketer, former 2011 Eindhoven Marathon winner Georgina Rono to Kenyan-turned-Bahraini Eunice Chumba.

Chebet, who won World Cross Country titles in 2010 and 2013, joins a growing list of athletes who make their marathon debut on Sunday.

The Kericho-based Chebet, who won bronze in 10,000m at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, is also among some of the top guns making their comeback after disappearing off the limelight.

By yesterday, participants list had a sizable number of top stars preparing to battle for Sh3.5 million winner’s prize.

Reigning Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon champion Purity Jebichii must be at her best to counter Chebet, Chumba, Rono and Kipketer.

In 2016, Valentine Kipketer and her elder brother Gideon Kipketer finished third at the Chicago Marathon.

Purity Jebichii, the winner of the 17th edition of the Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon in 2019 will also be a key figure in Eldoret. Jebichii stepped up to the full marathon in 2019.

In 2017, Chumba set two course records at the Copenhagen Half Marathon finishing in 66.11 before setting a new Beirut Marathon all-time mark of 2:28:43.

She clinched silver, her first Asian Games medal in women’s 10,000m, representing Bahrain at the 2018 Asian Games.

Former Udine Half Marathon winner Robert Kwemoi Chemosin of Elgeyo Marakwet, who has a personal best of 59:19 in half marathon, is also itching for glory.

Hillary Bett (2:09:29), Nicholas Korir (2:11:33) and Thomas Ekiru, are also in the line up.

 

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