Reuben Kosgei in the 2009 Vienna Marathon (© Victah Sailer)
Reuben Kosgei finally wants to make a major step in the Marathon. Kenya’s Olympic 3000m Steeplechase Champion from Sydney 2000 will run the TUI Hannover Marathon on 6 May and hopes to significantly improve his personal best.
The elite fields look strong enough to break the course records of this IAAF Bronze Label Road Race on its very flat course.
For the first time Hannover will feature an athlete of Kosgei's calibre. The 32-year-old, who was also was the 2001 World champion in the Steeplechase, made his first Marathon attempt in Vienna in 2009. But in the warm conditions he did not finish the race. In the autumn of that year he had a second go at the distance and met with more success. In Florence he finished second with 2:11:22, beaten by just one second.
Coming to his third Marathon Kosgei is said to be preparing with much more intensity than before.
“We really hope that he can significantly improve his personal best in Hannover,” said Christoph Kopp, the Elite Race Coordinator of the TUI Marathon Hannover.
There will be strong opposition for Kosgei in Hannover. The fastest in the field will be Nixon Kipkoech Machichim. The Kenyan ran 2:08:22 when placing fourth in the Toronto Marathon in 2010. This year he has already competed in the Mumbai Marathon, where he placed fifth in 2:11:37. Three more runner with personal bests of under 2:10 will be in the field on 6 May: Kenyan Edwin Kutto, who is the brother of the reigning World Marathon Champion Abel Kirui, has achieved 2:08:57 in Eindhoven last year. Amos Matui (Kenya/2:09:35) and Botoru Tsegaye (Ethiopia/2:09:57) are the other two. The two-year-old men’s course record, set by Kenyan Yussuf Sangoka, stands at 2:08:52.
In the women’s race the course record will be the target as well. Last year’s winner Georgina Rono (Kenya) is the holder of this one with 2:31:19. Ethiopia’s Fatuma Sado will be the favourite this year. The winner of the race in 2011 who ran 2:28:01, intends to run the event's first sub-2:30.
Her strongest rival could be the experienced Kenyan Leah Malot who has a personal best of 2:29:17. Halima Hassen Beriso (Ethiopia/2:32:42) and Natalya Puchkova (Russia/2:33:02) could also play a part.
Jörg Wenig (organisers) for the IAAF