NAIROBI, April 29 — Two-time world marathon champion Abel Kirui of Kenya has spoken of his disappointment in incurring an injury that forced him to withdraw from Sunday’s Hamburg Marathon at the midway point.
The 36-year-old remains hopeful that he will overcome this setback and return stronger to compete in next year’s marathon in the German city.
“I am sad that I had to drop out of the race in Hamburg. An unexpected hip problem spoiled my plans but soon all will be well,” said Kirui on Monday.
The Kenyan, who was returning to Hamburg after finishing fourth in 2018, had intended to attack Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge’s course record of 2:05:30.
But his legs failed to carry his body after the 20km mark and he had no option but to drop out. “The weather conditions too were not friendly. It was raining and wet, but it was hard for everybody,” said Kirui.
By contrast, the race was a major fillip for Lucas Rotich, who completed a marathon distance for the first time in two years after a lengthy injury lay-off. He finished fifth in 2:09:48.
“After two years of injuries and rehabilitation, I am back finishing a marathon,” said Rotich.
“I finished in fifth place finish despite cramping in the cool and wet weather. I’m sorry for my friend and training mate Amos Mitei, who was unfortunate not to finish the race due to cramps,” he added.
Ethiopia’s Abiyote Abate won the race ahead of Abshero Ayele, while former Olympic marathon champion Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda was third.
In the women’s race, Dibabe Kuma of Ethiopia won in 2:24:42, ahead of Kenya’s Magdalyne Masai and Failuna Matanga of Tanzania. – XINHUA