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Kenyans set to dominate Rotterdam Marathon

2006-04-08

Kenyan athletes look set to dominate Sunday's Fortis Rotterdam Marathon with high expectations a new faster course will see an improvement in the previous record of two hours six minutes 14seconds will fall in their 26miles 385yards encounter. Christopher Cheboiboch, Luke Kibet, Charles Kibiwott, Salim Kipsang, Jackson Koech, Sammy Korir and Philip Manyim, are expected to lead the charge on fellow countryman Felix Limo's two-year-old performance.

Current form suggests there is very little to seperate the seven main contenders for the Dutch title, although Kipsang and Manyim might hold a slight edge. Kipsang is forsaking the opportunity to defend the  title he claimed in last year's Paris Marathon which is also being staged on Sunday, while in the autumn, Manyim was a surprise winner of the Berlin event. Kamiel Maase the Netherland's record-holder with a time of 2:08:31, will be hard pushed to thwart the Kenyan's dominance on his home turf.

Tegla Loroupe who eight years ago ran what was then a women's world best time of 2:20:47, will make her fourth appearance in the Rotterdam event.

The 32-year-old Kenyan winner of 11 marathons during her lengthy career, will be fully tested if she is to achieve a second victory.

Former Amsterdam champions Helena Javornik and Abebe Tola from Ethiopia are included in the field, weakened more significantly than the men's event, with top athletes opting for the fast approaching Boston and Flora London Marathons.

Current form suggests there is very little to seperate the seven main contenders for the Dutch title, although Kipsang and Manyim might hold a slight edge.

Kipsang is forsaking the opportunity to defend the  title he claimed in last year's Paris Marathon which is also being staged on Sunday, while in the autumn, Manyim was a surprise winner of the Berlin event.

Kamiel Maase the Netherland's record-holder with a time of 2:08:31, will be hard pushed to thwart the Kenyan's dominance on his home turf.

Tegla Loroupe who eight years ago ran what was then a women's world best time of 2:20:47, will make her fourth appearance in the Rotterdam event. The 32-year-old Kenyan winner of 11 marathons during her lengthy career, will be fully tested if she is to achieve a second victory.

Former Amsterdam champions Helena Javornik and Abebe Tola from Ethiopia are included in the field, weakened more significantly than the men's event, with top athletes opting for the fast approaching BAA Boston and Flora London Marathons.

DAVID MARTIN


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