Abel Kirui Headlines Marugame Half

Ethiopia's Tiki Gelana will lead the women's race.

Ethiopia’s Tiki Gelana will lead the women’s race.

He’s a two-time world champion in the marathon and now Kenya’s Abel Kirui is heading to Marugame, Japan to try his hand in the half marathon.

According to the IAAF, the Olympic silver medalist will headline the field at the Kagawa Marugame Half-marathon on February 3.

Kirui has never run in Maruagame before and will be determined to crack the 60-minute barrier. His existing PR is a relatively pedestrian 60:11 and was set nearly six years ago.

Returning to the race will be fellow Kenyans Daniel Gitau, Jacob Wanjuki and Benjamin Gandu. This trio finished second through fourth respectively in last year’s race.

Meanwhile, in the women’s division, Ethiopia’s Tiki Gelana, who won the race last year, returns to defend her crown.

Gelana is an Olympic gold medalist in the marathon. At this race last year, she set a new PR (67:48). Kayoko Fukushi’s seven-year-old record, 67:26, is definitely up for grabs.

New Zealand’s Kim Smith, who has clocked 67:11 for the distance, is also entered in the race.

For More: IAAF