Nairobi, Nov 9: Two months after winning silver at the Cape Town Marathon, Daniel Muteti will be back in action in Greece as he seeks his first win in 2019 at the Athens Marathon on Sunday.
Muteti who clocked 2:09:25 in Cape Town is eyeing fast time in the old Greek city but will have to contend with compatriot Rhonzas Kilimo in the quest to break the Athens course record of 2:10:37 set by Felix Kandie back in 2014.
A record 20,000 runners will line up on a course that is almost identical to the one used for the 1896 Olympic marathon.
"The fact that I am running here in Athens where the marathon began is special motivation for me," said Daniel Muteti on Friday.
"I have enough motivation to go for a fast time and I believe the weather will be good for me so that I may attain my goal. I know it is a short time to run two marathons in the span of two months, but I believe I have the strength to withstand the pressure," Muteti said.
Kilimo will be making debut at the distance after a running a half marathon in a personal best time of 60:49 minutes last year.
"I always wanted to run the full distance and have been delaying it. But I believe Athens will be the perfect stage for me to make another mark in my career and win a first marathon," said Kilimo.
Also in the field are John Komen, now 42 and who ran his best of 2:07:13 in 2011, Dominic Kangor (2:09:36), Chalu Gelmisa (2:12:38) and Felicien Muhitira (2:10:58).
Organizers admit they have concentrated more on the men's field this year than the women's, so Eleftheria Petroulak (2:44:01) and Sonia Tsekini (2:45:02) are the favorites. There will be no women representation from Kenya. (UNI-Xinhua)