- Defending champions Kirui, Kiplagat face tough challenge.
- Kiplagat is chasing her third straight title in “Windy City” where two-time world champion Abel Kirui will be out to defend the men’s race.a
Dennis Kimetto makes a comeback to competitive running in Sunday’s Chicago Marathon (from 3pm Kenyan time) after several months out injured, with Ethiopia’s Tirunesh Dibaba also expected to challenge Kenya’s defending champion Florence Kiplagat in the women’s race.
Kiplagat is chasing her third straight title in “Windy City” where two-time world champion Abel Kirui will be out to defend the men’s race.
Kimetto told journalists earlier this week that he doesn’t know how his body will respond in Sunday’s race, but will be attacking the course record of two hours, three minutes and 45 seconds.
“I am in training and don’t want to put any demands on myself. It has been frustrating and I tell you all that matters now is to get back on the starting line-up and compete,” he told Xinhua news agency.
“How the body will take that pressure is something I can’t tell right now. If things go as planned, I want to break the course record in Chicago.”
Training mates confident
Kimetto’s Netherlands-based Volare Sport stable will be hoping to bounce back after one of their star runners, former world record holder Wilson Kipsang, dropped out of last month’s Berlin Marathon after 30km.
“The shape of Dennis seems to be good,” Hannah Biwott-Van de Veen of Volare sport told Nation Sport from Chicago. “He is confident that he will run well, and his training mates are confident too.
“It has been a long time for him without a good result so finishing comfortably would be great and I hope all goes well for him.”
Kimetto, 33, is the marathon world record-holder from his 2014 Berlin triumph in 2:02:57. He also won at Chicago and Tokyo in 2013, capturing the US race in 2:03:45.
But Kimetto is a bit of a mystery this time around, having failed to finish two of his four marathon starts since 2014, including this year’s Boston Marathon in April due to an injury.