FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Defending Champion John Kiprotich Targets Personal Best and a
First Sub 2:07 Time on Austrian Soil
John Kiprotich targets the first sub 2:07 time on Austrian soil in Sunday's
Vienna City Marathon. The defending champion intends to improve his
personal best of 2:07:08. He will be one of five Kenyans in the race, who
have run the distance faster than 2:08. A personal record will be the goal
for the defending women's champion as well: Fate Tola (Ethiopia) took the
Vienna City Marathon with 2:26:21 in 2011 and is now eager to improve this
time. Organisers of Austria's biggest sporting event have registered a
record number of 36,000 entries. This includes other running events staged
parallel to the marathon on Sunday.
The 29th Vienna City Marathon is an IAAF Gold Label Road Race. The event
will be shown live on the internet on Sunday from 8.40 am at:
"In 2011 I did not expect to win the race. This success was a big
motivation for me to train hard to further improve. It is my goal to come
closer to the best runners of the world," said John Kiprotich, who won last
year's race with 2:08:29. The 23 year-old, who had improved his PB by more
than seven minutes in Vienna last year, ran a good half marathon in the
built-up to Vienna. In February he clocked 60:02 minutes in the Rome-Ostia
race. "This was a good sign for Vienna, where we will have a race of
champions on Sunday. I am happy to be back and I expect a fast race," said
John Kiprotich, who is one of four former Kenyan winners coming back to
Austria. Henry Sugut took the Vienna City Marathon in 2010 with 2:08:40,
Gilbert Kirwa was number one in 2009 with 2:08:21 and Luke Kibet won in
2007 (2:10:07). Kibet then went on to win the World Championships' marathon
in the same year.
The runner with the fastest time in the field is Gilbert Kirwa. But the 26
year-old, who had improved to 2:06:14 in Frankfurt in 2009, does not see
himself as the favourite. "There are very strong runners in the field on
Sunday," Gilbert Kirwa said. The Kenyan has not raced since April 2011,
when he ran the Rotterdam Marathon and finished eleventh with 2:14:29.
"Originally I wanted to run the Frankfurt Marathon in October, but then I
got injured. I then hoped to compete in Tokyo in February, but I was not
ready for it in time. So instead I opted for Vienna, where I have very good
memories. When I won the 2009 race this was a great motivation for me,"
Gilbert Kirwa said.
Another former Vienna winner who attended today's press conference was
Henry Sugut. "I expect a very competitive race and look forward to Sunday.
All of us want to win," said the Kenyan, who hopes to improve his personal
best of 2:08:21 which he ran in Paris in spring 2011. He then acted as a
pacemaker in Berlin, where Patrick Makau (Kenya) broke the world marathon
record (2:03:38). "When I paced for Patrick Makau I saw how hard it is to
run such a pace and how hard you will have to train for it. I paced him for
25 k," said Henry Sugut. He then ran a full marathon in Frankfurt (2:08:56)
and after a break started preparing for Vienna. "I want to run sub 2:08 on
Sunday. May be I can achieve a result around 2:07:00."
While Henry Sugut has run with Patrick Makau in Berlin Fate Tola also has
experience in running with one of the best – but on a more regular basis.
She is the training partner of the German record holder Irina Mikitenko
(2:19:19). Coached by Irina's husband Alexander they all were together in
Albuquerque (USA) for high altitude training recently. "I have trained well
with Irina," said Fate Tola, who is married in Germany and speaks some
German. The 24 year-old has two goals on Sunday: "I want to defend my title
and achieve a personal best."
One of her rivals will be a two-time Vienna winner: Luminta Talpos
(Romania) took the race in 2007 and 2008. Four years ago she qualified for
the Olympic Games in Vienna. "This is the goal again. I hope to qualify for
London on Sunday," said the 39 year-old, who clocked her personal best of
2:26:43 in Vienna in 2008.
Selected elite runners of the Vienna City Marathon:
Gilbert Kirwa KEN 2:06:14
Gilbert Yegon KEN 2:08:18
John Kiprotich KEN 2:07:08
John Komen KEN 2:07:13
Patrick Ivuti KEN 2:07:46
Wilson Kigen KEN 2:08:16
Henry Sugut KEN 2:08:21
Iaroslav Musinschi MDA 2:08:32
Geoffrey Ndungu KEN 2:08:33
Luke Kibet KEN 2:08:52
Shume Gerbaba ETH 2:09:03
Mariko Kipchumba KEN 2:09:04
Lusapho April KEN 2:09:25
Dmitriy Safronov RUS 2:09:35
Willy Kibor KEN 2:10:21
Emmanuel Samal KEN 2:10:27
Fate Tola ETH 2:26:21
Luminita Talpos ROM 2:26:43
Olga Glok RUS 2:28:27
Aberash Nesga ETH 2:29:47
Helalia Johannes NAM 2:30:35
Pauline Kahenya Njeri KEN Debut