FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Duncan Kibet, Elias Chelimo and
Pamela Chepchumba chase course records in Milan
Both course records are under threat in Sunday's Samsung Milan City
Marathon. Kenyans Duncan Kibet and Elias Chelimo as well as the women's
favourite Pamela Chepchumba are the ones who could break the existing marks
on the fast course in northern Italy. The weather forecast suggests quite
cool temperatures but sunny skies. The ninth edition of the Samsung Milan
City Marathon will feature about 6,000 runners. Start and finish of the
race are located at the Piazza Castello in the centre of the city.
Duncan Kibet might well be the one to watch when it comes to breaking
records. The 30 year-old Kenyan had run a great marathon debut in this
year's Vienna City Marathon. In very warm weather conditions he finished
second with 2:08:33. His personal best at the half marathon stands at
60:22. "I think Duncan and Elias will be the favourites on Sunday, but I
also expect Portugal's Helder Ornelas to do well," says Elite Race
Coordinator Federico Rosa. 24 year-old Elias Kemboi Chelimo is the winner
of the Rome Marathon from last year, where he clocked his personal best of
2:09:36. This year the Kenyan ran 2:09:50 for second place in Xiamen
(China). "They both have trained very well in Kenya near Eldoret," says
Federico Rosa. They did parts of their marathon preparations together with
for example Evans Cheryuiot, who won the Chicago Marathon in October in
In order to break the course record of Kenyan Benson Cherono (2:07:58 in
2006) a half marathon split time of 63:45 minutes will be targeted. That
will as well be fast enough to attack the Italian all-comers record which
stands at 2:07:45. Ethiopia's Semretu Alemayehu had run this in Torino in
2001. The course record holder Cherono will be among the pacemakers, which
might well be a big benefit.
In contrast to many major marathons European runners in Milan are in with
at least a good chance for a top place. The other three runners with sub
2:10 personal bests in the field are from this continent: Ukraine's
Oleksandr Kuzin, who had caused a major surprise by taking Linz in 2007
with 2:07:33 despite warm weather, actually is the fastest runner in the
field. Helder Ornelas (Portugal) comes back to the Samsung Milan City
Marathon which he won with a personal best of 2:09:59 in 2005. And finally
Italy's Danilo Goffi is a runner with massive experience. He features a
personal record of 2:08:33.
Others in with a chance on Sunday are Leonard Mucheru Maina (Kenya), who
had improved to 2:10:32 by winning in Tiberias (Israel) this year, South
Africa's Norman Dlomo (third in Milan with 2:10:39 in 2007) and Christopher
Isegwe. Tanzania's surprise silver medallist at the World Championships'
marathon in 2005 hopes to come back with a fine marathon performance in
Milan. "After the championships in Helsinki I had a knee injury and health
problems – I suffered of malaria and got stomach problems. I still have
stomach problems sometimes, so I am not sure what I will be able to achieve
on Sunday. But my goal is a time of about 2:10," said Christopher Isegwe,
who has a personal record of 2:10:21 from Helsinki.
The 32 year-old Isegwe comes from Arusha, where his wife and two children
live. But during the last four month he has not seen them. "I trained in
high altitude in Paipa in Columbia and came to Milan right from there,"
explained Christopher Isegwe. He was able to do training in around 2,800 m
above sea level in Columbia. Isegwe will probably run the same pace as his
fellow-countryman Mohamed Msandeki Ikoki, who has a personal best of
2:12:42 from Istanbul 2007. "My aim is to improve to 2:09 or 2:10 on
Sunday. I hope that we will be able to help each other during the race,"
The women's race will very much focus on two athletes: Pamela Chepchumba
will return to the Samsung Milan City Marathon as the defending champion.
The 29 year-old has a personal best of 2:25:36 from her win last year and
hopes to further improve on Sunday. Her aim will be a sub 2:25 time. The
Milan course record so far stands at 2:24:59 from Margaret Okayo
(Kenya/2002). Italy's Anna Incerti will attract much attention as well. She
had improved to 2:30:55, taking 14th place in the tough Olympic marathon in
Beijing. The 28 year-old will be aiming to break 2:30 for the first time
and improve the Italian lead in 2008 (Vincenza Sicari has run 2:29:51).
While Serbia's Olivera Jevtic had to withdraw from the race due to a back
problem Ethiopia's Merima Denboba might be in for a challenge for second
place. She has so far achieved 2:32:54.
More information is available online at: www.milanocitymarathon.it