Kipserem Eyes Rotterdam Glory, Nancy Kiprop Chases Vienna History

Apr 06 - by IAAF for SportPesa News

All eyes on Kenyan pair during the IAAF Gold Label races in Netherlands and Austria on Sunday

Nancy Kiprop of Kenya reacts as she crosses the finish line as the first the women during the Vienna City Marathon in Vienna, Austria, on April 22, 2018. More than 41000 athletes take part in the 35th Vienna City Marathon. PHOTO/AFP

  • At the same time, compatriot Nancy Kiprop will race for history when she attempts to be the first woman to win a third Vienna City Marathon crown when she lines up at the start of the 36th edition on the same day
  • Three world records had been set in the Dutch city: Carlos Lopes’s 2:07:12 in 1985, Belayneh Dinsamo’s 2:06:50 in 1988 and Tegla Loroupe’s 2:20:47 in 1998
  • But Kiprop concedes that the one factor which can play havoc with any record attempt is the Viennese weather

ROTTERDAM, Netherlands- Abu Dhabi Marathon champion, Kenya's Marius Kipserem is the slight favourite for the men's Rotterdam Marathon title with the field set out to attack for a new course record on Sunday.

At the same time, compatriot Nancy Kiprop will race for history when she attempts to be the first woman to win a third Vienna City Marathon crown when she lines up at the start of the 36th edition on the same day.

The leading contenders for this year’s NN Marathon Rotterdam will try to improve the course record of 2:04:27 at the IAAF Gold Label road race with Kipserem keen on proving a point.

Having won the Abu Dhabi Marathon in December in 2:04:04, his time cannot be counted as an official personal best because it was later found that the course was slightly short. 

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That in itself, though, will act as a huge motivating factor for the 30-year-old as he seeks to improve on his fifth-place finish from Rotterdam last year.

Ethiopia’s Tsegaye Mekonnen and Markos Geneti have sub-2:05 PBs, while Emanuel Saina and Woldaregay Gezahegn Kelkile are also strong competitors. 

Kenya's Josphat Kiptoo Boit, who burst on to the road-running scene last year with half-marathon clockings of 59:19 and 59:42, will be making his marathon debut.

Dutch record-holder Abdi Nageeye and European champion Koen Naert of Belgium will be aiming to break their respective PBs of 2:08:16 and 2:09:51 or at least secure the Olympic qualifying mark of 2:11:30.

Three world records had been set in the Dutch city: Carlos Lopes’s 2:07:12 in 1985, Belayneh Dinsamo’s 2:06:50 in 1988 and Tegla Loroupe’s 2:20:47 in 1998. 

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The men’s course record of 2:04:27 was set – and shared – by Kenyan pair Duncan Kibet and James Kwambai in 2009 with the pair moving to equal second on the world all-time list at that time.

Having won the Valencia Marathon last year in 2:21:14, Ethiopia’s Ashete Bekele Dido will start as favourite in the women’s race. Compatriot Sentayehu Lewetegn and Kenya’s Stella Barsosio are both sub-2:24 performers and are expected to challenge for top honours.

Podium places

USA’s Kellyn Taylor, Ethiopia’s Betelhem Moges and Portugal’s European half marathon champion Sara Moreira should also be in contention for the podium places.

Approximately 17,000 runners will take to the Erasmus Bridge for the start of the race with temperatures expected to be about 14C.

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In Vienna, Kiprop says she is ready to make history by becoming the first woman to win the Gold Label road race for the third time.

The Kenyan, who triumphed at this race the past two years, has arrived in the kind of form which makes her believe that she can improve on her best of 2:22:46, a performance that would fall well under the current course record of 2:23:47, set by the Italian Maura Viceconte in 2000.

“I’m excited to be here once again and am really going for a personal best," said Kiprop, who set her current best in Frankfurt last October. "I’d be really happy if I can run around 2:22 or 2:23 and that would be a great achievement for me.”

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But Kiprop concedes that the one factor which can play havoc with any record attempt is the Viennese weather.

“Vienna is a perfect course but the challenge is the weather. Sometimes it is very warm but the course is perfect.”

But the Kenyan should face strong opposition from Ethiopia’s Rahma Tusa, a three-time winner of the Rome Marathon, whose best is 2:23:46.

Making good progress up the marathon charts is Nancy Kiprop’s fellow Kenyan, Angela Tanui. Her best is 2:26:31 and she ran 69:53 to win the Naples Half Marathon in late February.

Another previous winner expected on the start line is Swiss record holder Maja Neuenschwander, the winner in 2015 and clocked her best of 2:26:49 in Berlin later that year. She'll be returning to action after a stress fracure sidelined her from competition last year.

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-Report by the IAAF