Chemlany targets course record in Hefei Marathon in China

NAIROBI, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) — Former Commonwealth Games Marathon silver medalist Stephen Chemlany of Kenya returns to China hopeful of winning this Sunday’s Hefei International Marathon, to add on the medals he picked last year in Beijing and Hong Kong.

Chemlany, 36, has set his target on breaking the 2:08:54 course record and will partner with his training mate Dominic Ruto on the assault to raise the bar higher in the Chinese city.

Chemlany is the fastest entrant on paper with a career best of 2:06:24 from the 2014 Seoul Marathon where he finished second.

It will be his second race this year following his third place finish at the Prague Marathon six month ago where he clocked 2:09:42.

In Beijing in 2017, Chemlany had to settle for bronze medal clocking an impressive 2:11:50 while in Hong Kong he incurred an injury that saw him slow down in the final stages to finish in position 11.

In 2014, Chemlany was second at the Commonwealth Games.

“The injury was minor and I have been training well since then. But I need to raise the bar and break the course record as I target to run under two hours and eight minutes,” Chemlany said on Saturday.

The 28-year-old Ruto has also run a solid race in the current season, clocking 2:09:49 to finish third in Hengshui, 41 seconds shy of his personal best achieved in Rome last April.

Ethiopia’s Dereje Debele, on the contrary, needs to prove his competitiveness in Hefei.

The 32-year-old recorded his lifetime best of 2:07:48 from his victory in Dusseldorf five years ago, but hasn’t broken the two hours and ten minutes barrier since 2015.

His most recent race time was a 2:10:23 performance in Oita, Japan last February.

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