TCS Amsterdam Marathon: defending champion Wilson Chebet versus world champion Abel Kirui

TCS Amsterdam Marathon: defending champion Wilson Chebet versus world champion Abel Kirui

Defending champion Wilson Chebet and two-time world champion Abel Kirui are set to engage in a thrilling contest during the TCS Amsterdam Marathon on Sunday 19 October. Chebet is coming to Amsterdam with big ambitions. "I've set myself a goal. During my fifth race in Amsterdam I want to show that this is a 2:04 marathon course. I've taken small risks in my training to achieve this, and I want the wonderful audience and outstanding organisers to see it." The Kenyan can expect fierce competition from Abel Kirui, who won the world marathon title in Berlin (2009) and Daegu (2011) and also bagged a silver medal at the London Olympics in 2012.

The TCS Amsterdam Marathon has a special place in the heart of the 29-year-old Kenyan who holds the course record. "I feel at home and at ease in Amsterdam," he says. When Chebet crossed the finish line in the Olympic Stadium in 2 hours, 5 minutes and 36 seconds to the sound of loud cheering last year, he sliced 5 seconds off his own course record. Having stood on the highest podium no less than three times, the good-natured Chebet is now well known in Amsterdam. He set his personal record of 2:05:27 in 2011.

While Chebet is able to draw on his experience of the course, tournament runner Kirui can draw confidence from his world titles. The title of the TCS Amsterdam Marathon would be a welcome addition to the impressive list of events won by the dazzling and enthusiastic Kenyan. Chebet's compatriot has a slightly faster personal record of 2.05.04, which he ran during the Rotterdam Marathon in 2009, when he came third. This time, the 32-year-old athlete also has his sights set on a 2:04 finish. What are two of the world's best runners capable of on the fast course of the TCS Amsterdam Marathon?

Le Champion, the association that organises the event, has already announced that Ayele Abshero (Ethiopia) and Marisol dos Santos (Brazil) will be taking part. Having previously accomplished a 2:04 finish time (2:04:23), Abshero will also certainly be engaging in the battle for the title.

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