Fresh after becoming the new world half-marathon record holder with his win at Valencia, Kenya’s Abraham Kiptum is confident that he can go on to clinch the inaugural Adnoc Abu Dhabi Marathon that will be held on Friday in Abu Dhabi, United Arabs Emirates.
Speaking to the press ahead of the race, Kiptum said he is in the best of shape and is ready to give everything to claim the top honours.
“I’m delighted to come here for this race and very much ready,” he said. “Being the world half-marathon record holder and being in the great shape I’m, I feel I will be able to finish here with my personal best. The 32 year-old half marathon record stands at 58:18 that he got at after thrashing Eritrea’s Zersenay Tadese record that he set in 2010.
“The weather is ideal for me,” he added. “There are some strong athletes here, but I will be trying my level best.”
Another title contender is the Rotterdam marathon winner Kenneth Kipkemoi who was also upbeat about doing well here despite this being his first visit to the capital.
“I have trained well and I haven’t seen the course and haven’t seen Abu Dhabi except being in the airport when on transit,” said Kipkemoi.
Am targeting to run 2:04 or 2:05, and if I can achieve that, it will be a good performance for me.”
Kipkemoi carries a personal best of 2:05.44 that he got in April when taking honors at Rotterdam. There will be a fierce battle between the Kenyans as Stanley Biwott, who won the 2015 New York City Marathon, has been added to the list. Having finished second twice in Dubai, he is hungrier than ever to clinch the title.
“This is a strong field and it will be good for everyone to achieve fast times on this flat course,” said Biwott.