Viola set for marathon debut


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Former World Cross Country Championships’ junior bronze medallist Viola Kibiwot, who has also had an excellent career in the middle distance on the track, is now set to debut in the full marathon in Hamburg this month.

Kibiwot is also the 2002 world junior champion in the 1,500 metres and is on the elite field for the Haspa Marathon Hamburg on April 23.

Kibiwot told Nation Sport that she thought it wise to join the road and marathon to sustain her career in athletics.

“I want to continue being in the athletics, and that is why I saw it wise to change from track to the marathon and road races.

“I will also be participating in the 10,000 metres and I look forward to making the Kenyan team for the World Championships in London,” said Kibiwot.

The athlete, who trains in Kaptagat, Elgeyo Marakwet County under the Global Sports Communication stable, added that training for a marathon is tough and takes hard work to get results.

“I’m new in marathon races and I will be looking forward to a good performance. It’s been a tough training for me, but it has to come from me in terms of good will and hard work for good results,” said Kibiwot, who is trained by Richard Metto in Kaptagat where she is in great company.

Her training mates include Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge, world cross country champion Geoffrey Kamworor, steeplechase world champion Hyvin Kiyeng, and Uganda’s former Olympic and World marathon champion Stephen Kiprotich.

Kiprotich is also in the elite men’s field in Hamburg.

“I have been in athletics for a long period and what I can say is that when you are disciplined, you will be there for a long period. It really motivates me training with the world beaters like Eliud Kipchoge and Geoffrey Kamworor,” said Kibiwot.

Other top track and cross country athletes making their full marathon debut this year are Olympic 5,000 metres champion Vivian Cheruiyot and World half Marathon Championships silver medallist Bedan Karoki who will both debut in London, also on April 23.

Meanwhile, Kiprotich will be joined in Hamburg by fellow 2012 Olympic marathon gold medallist Tiki Gelana of Ethiopia. Their presence represents an unprecedented quality in Hamburg’s elite field since never before has one Olympic gold medallist competed here.

In terms of the overall field, at present more than 15,000 runners have entered for the 32nd edition.

“This is probably the best elite field in the history of the races which began more than 30 years ago. The strong elite fields and the current entry figures promise a great Haspa Marathon Hamburg,“ said race organiser Frank Thaleiser.

Gelana’s national record of 2:18:58 makes her the fastest woman runner to have entered the Haspa Marathon Hamburg by a considerable margin since she is the first sub-2:20 performer to compete.

In 2011 and 2012 she was unbeaten over the classic distance.

Tsegaye Mekonnen ETH 2:04:32

Tsegaye Kebede ETH 2:04:38

Stephen Kiprotich UGA 2:06:33

Limenih Getachew ETH 2:06:49

Robert Chemosin KEN 2:08:05

Japhet Kosgei KEN 2:08:08

Jose Antonio Uribe MEX 2:08:55

Tujuba Megersa ETH 2:09:28

Gilbert Masai KEN 2:09:49

Joshua Kipkorir KEN 2:09:50

Philipp Pflieger GER 2:12:50

Jessica Augusto POR 2:24:25

Adriana da Silva BRA 2:29:17

Mona Stockhecke GER 2:31:30

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