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Moses Mosop chases victory and possible course record in Prague

by Press Release
Friday 9th May 2014

Race preview: Volkswagen Prague Marathon - May 11, 2014

Photo: Moses Mosop © Volkswagen Prague Marathon

Moses Mosop intends to show that he still belongs to the world’s best marathon runners when he competes in the 20th anniversary edition of the Volkswagen Prague Marathon on Sunday. The Kenyan, who is the star of the elite field, chases victory and, potentially, course record. While the focus in the build-up to the race is very much on Mosop, victory will not come easy in Prague. There is a handful of other athletes with personal bests of sub 2:07. In the women’s race Firehiwot Dado of Ethiopia and Kenya’s Flomena Chepchirchir are regarded as the favourites. The Volkswagen Prague Marathon is an IAAF Gold Label Race, the top category of road races awarded by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

“I am happy to be in Prague. It is a nice city and I want to win here on Sunday,” said Moses Mosop, who originally planned to run the Boston Marathon on Easter Monday. However, injuries forced him to withdraw. “First I had a problem in my right knee and then in my left calf. I missed around three weeks of training. So I could not go to Boston but I thought I could still run a marathon later in the season. That is why I am here,” said the 28 year-old Kenyan.

Mosop is the second fastest marathoner of all time with 2:03:06. He ran this in his debut marathon in Boston 2011 where he finished second. However the course does not meet requirements for world records. “It was my first marathon, so this was a great result for me. I have still time to run such a time again in the future (on a standard course),” he said, when asked about his feelings concerning his Boston PB.

“I have not competed for a long time, so I will have to see how it goes on Sunday. I am not 100 percent, but I hope to run well,” said Mosop, who last competed in the Chicago Marathon in autumn 2013 where he finished eighth with 2:11:19. He hopes to be much faster in Prague. “If all is fine with my knee may be 2:05 to 2:06 is possible. We might even give it a go at the course record,” said Mosop, who will be supported by pacemaker Peter Kirui on Sunday.

Mosop prepared in Eldoret for the Volkswagen Prague Marathon and among his training partners were Wilson Chebet and Sammy Kitwara. Occasionally the world marathon record holder Wilson Kipsang joins the group of “Big Engine”. Mosop explained how he got the nickname many years ago: “I was a junior runner and supposed to run with the juniors. But I insisted to go with the seniors and was ahead of them. That is when they called me ‘Big Engine’”

Mosop will need a ‘Big Engine’ on Sunday to succeed in Prague. A dozen runners are on the start list with personal bests of sub 2:10. Including Mosop there are five who have run below 2:07. Among his rivals is the defending champion Nicholas Kemboi. Born in Kenya and now running for Qatar, he has a PB of 2:08:01. In warm weather conditions he won with 2:08:51 in Prague a year ago. But the toughest challenge for Mosop might come from Ethiopians Dadi Yami and Deresa Chimsa who have personal bests of 2:05:41 and 2:05:42.

The women’s race could produce a duel between Kenya’s Flomena Chepchirchir and Ethiopia’s Firehiwot Dado. Chepchirchir, who was second in the Volkswagen Prague Marathon two years ago, clocked her personal best of 2:23:00 as a runner-up in the Frankfurt Marathon 2013. It will be Chepchirchir’s second marathon attempt within a month since she dropped out of Boston on Easter Monday. This is why Dado is regarded as the favourite in Prague. “It makes it tougher if you are the favourite, but I am in good form. So I think that I can win and run a good time,” said Dado, who clocked her PB of 2:23:15 when she won the New York Marathon in 2011.

A record number of 10,000 runners from 91 nations entered the Volkswagen Prague Marathon and maximum capacity was reached months ago. Celebrating the 20th edition of their event, organisers from Run Czech welcome a number of former world-class runners and personalities of the sport as guests of honour. Among them are Norway’s former world marathon record holder Ingrid Kristiansen and the Olympic marathon champion from Seoul 1988, Gelindo Bordin. The Italian is one of the founding members of the Volkswagen Prague Marathon, together with Carlo Capalbo and the legendary Emil Zatopek. “When we started back in 1995 it was our aim to build a small version of the New York City Marathon. Today our race belongs to the best marathons in the world”, said Capalbo, who is the President of the Organising Committee of Run Czech.

There will be live streaming of the Volkswagen Prague Marathon, which will start at 9 am on Sunday.

Further information will be given on the Run Czech website www.runczech.com in due time

Updated leading men contenders:

Moses Mosop KEN 2:03:06
Eliud Kiptanui KEN 2:05:39
Dadi Yami ETH 2:05:41
Deresa Chimsa ETH 2:05:42
Nicholas Manza KEN 2:06:34
Nicholas Kipkemboi KEN 2:06:35
Yared Asmerom ERI 2:07:27
Nicholas Kemboi QAT 2:08:01
Abere Kassw ETH 2:08:15
Patrick Terer KEN 2:08:52
Kennedy Kwemoi Nabei KEN 2:09:54
Asmare Workneh ETH 2:09:56
Wesley Langat KEN 2:10:40
Evans Chebet KEN 2:11:26


Updated leading women contenders

Flomena Chepchirchir KEN 2:23:00
Firehiwot Dado ETH 2:23:15
Aberu Mekuria ETH 2:26:07
Yeshimebet Tadesse ETH 2:26:17
Yuliya Ruban UKR 2:27:00
Eunice Kales KEN 2:27:19
Fantu Eticha ETH 2:27:36
Beatrice Jepkemboi KEN 2:27:41
Konjit Tilahun ETH 2:28:11
Iulia Andreeva KRG 2:30:57

For more information online about the Volkswagen Prague Marathon, please go to www.runczech.com


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