KENYAN TIPPED

Jepkesho favourite to clinch Sunday's Gold Coast Marathon title

Jepkesho is competing in her second marathon this year after finishing third in South Korea with a time of 2:22:52 on March 17.

In Summary

• The seasoned long-distance runner will face stiff competition from Japan’s Rie Kawauchi and Misato Horie.

• Organizers termed the men’s race as the strongest in the Marathon’s history with 12 athletes having run sub 2:10 times.

Visiline Jepkesho leads the pack in the 10,000m at the Kenya Prisons Championship
Visiline Jepkesho leads the pack in the 10,000m at the Kenya Prisons Championship
Image: TEDDY MULEI

Seoul Marathon's second runner-up Visiline Jepkesho will start as the favourite in the elite women’s race on Sunday during the Gold Coast Marathon on the Eastern Coast of Australia.

Jepkesho is competing in her second marathon this year after finishing third in South Korea with a time of 2:22:52 on March 17.

The 34-year-old also boasts victories from the 2018 Rotterdam Marathon, where she clocked 2:23:47 and the 2016 Paris Marathon (2:25:53).

She also placed third in the 2015 edition of the Paris Marathon clocking 2:24:44 and placed second at the 2017 Istanbul Marathon (2:22:40).

Other top performances include the 2019 Nagoya women’s Marathon (2:22:58) and the 2017 Lille Half Marathon (1:08:12).

The seasoned long-distance runner will face stiff competition from Japan’s Rie Kawauchi and Misato Horie.

Kawauchi boasts titles from the Nagano Marathon (2:33:16) and last year’s Tokushima Marathon (2:33:50).

Horie is the 2016 Gold Coast champion, where she claimed the title in a time of 2:26:40. She also holds a title from the 2022 Osaka Marathon (2:32:10).

Jepkesho will be joined by compatriot Irene Jerobon, the Castellon Marathon runner-up (2:30:51).

She is also the Alpes-Maritimes Nice-Cannes Marathon champion with a time of 2:41:18. Milly Clark, the 2021 Melbourne Marathon champion, will be seeking to make a mark for the host nation.

Clark’s achievements include winning the 2021 Launceston Half Marathon (1:11:09) and securing silver at the 2019 Oceania Marathon (2:28:08) and 2017 Gold Coast Half Marathon (1:11:15).

The men’s field will be spearheaded by 2015 Praha Marathon Champion Felix Kandie.

Organisers termed the men’s race as the strongest in the event’s history with 12 athletes having run sub 2:10 times.

“ Twelve male athletes have sub 2:10 performances. This will be the strongest field to ever jump to the starting gun in the 44-year history of the ASICS Gold Coast Marathon,” the statement from the organisers read.

Kandie is a silver medallist in the 2017 Seoul Marathon (2:06:03) as well as the 2016 edition of the Praha Marathon (2:08:14).

He is a bronze medallist at the 2015 Valencia Marathon (2:07:07) and the 2018 Toronto Waterfront Marathon (2:08:30).

Kandie will be joined by fellow Kenyans Timothy Kattam, the 2023 Milano Marathon silver medallist (2:07:53), Geoffrey Birgen and Kenneth Omulo.

Japan’s Yuki Kawauchi, the 2016 Gold Coast runner-up (2:09:01), will provide formidable competition along with Uganda’s Kibet Soyekwo, the 2013 Dronten Half Marathon champion (1:03:45) and Ethiopia’s Belay Tilahun.