Two-time world marathon champion Abel Kirui is seeking to reclaim the Chicago Marathon title on October 7.
Kirui clinched Chicago in 2016 and came home second behind eventual winner Galen Rupp of USA last year after recovering from a knee injury.
Kirui, who trains with Global Sports Communication alongside the newly crowned world record holder and Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge, has expressed confidence he will do well.
“After shifting my training base and management to Global Sports Communications, I have improved a lot and ran my personal best during London Marathon,” said Kirui, who trains under Richard Metto and Patrick Sang.
The runner, born and raised in Nandi County, won the 2009 IAAF world marathon title in Berlin before defending it in 2011 in Daegu to become the third marathoner to defend world title after Spanish Abel Anton and Moroccan Jaouad Gharib.
“My coach has given me a good training programme that I am currently following religiously. I do 30km a day, a little bit of speed work and fat leg among others to ensure I get to my top form ahead of the race,” said the 2008 Vienna Marathon champion. Kirui will be up against 2018 Tokyo Marathon champion Dickson Chumba, who withdrew from Berlin Marathon.
Other training partners for Kirui include— three-time world half marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor, former Olympic Games 3,000m steeplechase champion Brimin Kipruto, two-time Toronto Marathon champion Philemon Rono among others. “Kipchoge’s world record feat in huge motivation for all of us. The fact that I have been training with his prior to his achievement in Berlin, gives me a conviction that I will also rule Chicago,” added Kirui after training on Monday.
The Seventh Day Adventist Church member was optimistic that he will redeem his image and win the second title.
“I have hope of winning the title back. My focus is bringing back the title and nothing more. I lost last year but this time I am praying that I get it back,” he added.