Kenya’s Barselius Kipyego will defend his title at the 8th edition of the Mattoni Usti nad Labem Half Marathon that will be jeld on Saturday in Ústí nad Labem, Czech Republic.
The 25 year-old smashed his own course record of 59:15 that he had set in 2016 with a new course of 59:14.
Kipyego battled with Joseph Tanui from Kenya and the late Ismail Juma from Tanzania who passed on after this race through a tragic road accident in his home of Tanzania.
The Kenyan who ran the fifth fastest time and is also targeting to write history as the first man to win the race three times, but he will not have it easy as he will face Ethiopia’s finest Guye Adola and Kenyans Josephat Tanui and Albert Kangogo.
Adola who came to the lime light at the 2014 IAAF world Half Marathon where he won an individual bronze medal with a personal best of 59:21 and went on to lower his time at the 2014 Delhi Half Marathon in 59:06 will also be chasing his first title in Czech.
The 27 year-old Ethiopian is remembered when he debut at the 2017 Berlin Marathon challenging Eliud Kipchoge as he came second with a finishing time of 2:03.46 that made him the fastest marathon-debut ever.
Tanui on his part carries a personal best of 59:22 that he got at this race last year when he finished second behind Kipyego, will also be battling to unseat kipyego and the Ethiopian as he seeks to lift his first title over the distance.
Another title contender is Kangogo who carries on his shoulder a personal best of 59:25 that he got at the 2017 Kobenhavn in Denmark.
Japan will also bring along a strong team to Ústí nad Labem headed by Kenji Yamamoto who has a a personal best of 1:01.47 that he got at Yamaguchi, while the United States will be represented by Jared Ward,30, who comes to this race with a personal best of 1:01.42.