Cherono undeterred by Boston marathon cancelation, eyes title

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020 00:00 |
Lawrence Cherono crosses the finish line to win the 2019 Boston Marathon. Photo/FILE

Ericson Kiprono

Reigning Boston Marathon champion Lawrence Cherono has not been deterred by the coronavirus pandemic and is looking forward to defend his title during the 124th edition of the race.

The event, initially set to take place on April 20, was postponed to September 14 as part of measures by the US government to curb the spread of the virus.

Cherono, who trains in Kaptagat, Elgeyo Marakwet County will face Ethiopia’s Lelisa Desisa, 2017 winner Geoffrey Kirui, 2018 champion Yuki Kawauchi among other quality runners.

“I am continuing with the training despite the postponement but I look forward to that day and I am delighted that I will be going back to the USA to defend my title and I have prepared well for the marathon.

I am optimistic that I will do well even though the elite field is strong,” said Cherono.

“The 2017 champion Geoffrey Kirui and 2018 winner Yuki Kawauchi and Lelisa Desisa, who won in 2013, will be competing with me. They have all won before and will be hungry for another title,’’ he added.

At last year’s edition, Cherono won the Boston title in a sprint finish, clocking 2:07:57 to beat Desisa to second place (2:07:59) while Kenya’s Kenneth Kipkemoi settled for third in 2:08:07.

“Desisa is a tough athlete and we were together in the leading pack up to the last 50m. That’s when I sprinted, leaving him behind.

His body could not react and that is how I was able to win the race,” said Cherono, who is also the Chicago Marathon champion.

Meanwhile, Kirui is also looking forward to a good run with the intention of recapturing the crown he last won in 2017.

The athlete, who normally trains at his home in Keringet, Nakuru County has since shifted to Kaptagat in a bid to improve his performance.

“I have been training in the two regions (Kaptagat and Keringet) and both areas have similar conditions which are good for training,” said Kirui.

He finished second in a rain-soaked race in 2018 and fifth last year.

In the women’s category, 2015 champion Caroline Rotich will compete against 2017 winner Edna Kiplagat and reigning champion Ethiopia’s Worknesh Degefa.

Degefa won last year’s race in 2:23:3 with Kiplagat second in 2:24:14 while USA’s Jordan Hasay clocked 2:25:20 for third place.

Challengers for the title include Mare Dibaba of Ethiopia, who will return in excellent shape having run 2:20:21 for second place at the 2019 Berlin Marathon.

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