Kipruto, Kiplimo contest key talking point in Valencia race

Rhonex Kipruto of Kenya reacts after crossing the finish line to win the men's 10,000m race during the IAAF Diamond League competition on May 30, 2019 in Stockholm, Sweden.

Photo credit: Fredrik Sandberg | AFP

What you need to know:

  • The 2016 World Half Marathon silver medalist Bedan Karoki who is currently training in Japan, Alfred Barkach, Stephen Kiprop and Kelvin Kiptum will be also compete in the 21km race.
  • Sheila Chepkirui who won the Valencia and Prague 10km Run in January will compete in the women’s 21km race. She will come up against defending champion Senbere Teferi from Ethiopia.

When athletes line up for the 2020 Valencia Marathon on December 6, another battle will be unfolding in men’s half marathon at the same event, which might see more records falling.

Whereas the full marathon race has attracted a rich field, the half marathon race will see World 10,000 metres bronze medallist Rhonex Kipruto take on World Half Marathon champion Jacob Kiplimo from Uganda.

Last month, Kiplimo shocked the world by winning the World Half Marathon title in 58min, 49sec, beating a strong field featuring Kenya’s Kibiwott Kandie who came second in 58:54 and Ethiopia’s Amedework Walelegn who sealed the podium places in 59:08.

Both Kipruto and Kiplimo have been preparing for the race individually, although the Kenyan has kept his cards very close to his chest.

The two athletes last met during the 2018 World Under-20 Championships held in Tampere, Finland, where Kipruto bagged gold in a course record time of 27:21.08.

Kiplimo wound up in second place after timing 27:40.36, while Ethiopia’s Berihu Aregawi was in third in 27:48.41.

Kipruto is no stranger to Valencia, the athlete having set the world record over 5km (13:18) in the 12th edition of the 10K Valencia Ibercaja on January 14. However, this year’s race was assigned a Gold Label status by World Athletics.

Kipruto has been training in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet for the race, which he reckons will be a close contest.

“We have some few weeks before competition. I have been out of competition since January and naturally, I want to perform well. It will be a tight race but I will do my best.  I always believe in going for glory,” he told Nation Sport Sunday.

He is not bothered by his rival Kiplimo and has vowed to stick to his game plan, the last details of which he will finalise in training weeks ahead of the race.

The 2016 World Half Marathon silver medalist Bedan Karoki who is currently training in Japan, Alfred Barkach, Stephen Kiprop and Kelvin Kiptum will be also compete in the 21km race.

Sheila Chepkirui who won the Valencia and Prague 10km Run in January will compete in the women’s 21km race. She will come up against defending champion Senbere Teferi from Ethiopia.

brotich@ke.nationmedia.com

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