Kenya’s Kipchumba ready to defend crown against global marathon elite in Xiamen


Defending champion Philimon Kiptoo Kipchumba is gearing up to face a formidable field at the C&D Xiamen Marathon, a World Athletics Platinum Label road race, in China this Sunday.

 The race promises fierce competition as 12 runners in the lineup boast a career best time faster than the current course record of 2:06:19, set by Moses Mosop of Kenya in 2015.

Kipchumba, the 25-year-old Kenyan, arrives in Xiamen with an unbeaten streak from the previous year.

His impressive victories include a 2:10:47 triumph in Hong Kong last February, followed by a stunning 2:08:04 win in Xiamen.

In November, Kipchumba continued his dominance in Shanghai, clocking an impressive 2:05:35 and setting a new Chinese all-comers’ record, surpassing Mosop’s previous mark.

Among the challengers, Kenyan half marathon record-holder Kibiwott Kandie stands out. The 27-year-old showcased his potential with a personal best of 2:04:48, securing a sixth-place finish in Valencia just one month ago.

Eager to claim his first marathon title, Kandie will be a strong contender in Xiamen.

Ethiopia’s Chalu Deso, aged 26, is another formidable competitor in the mix. Having finished seventh in Valencia last month with a time of 2:05:14, Deso brings a career best of 2:04:53 achieved in the Spanish city in 2020.

With marathon titles in Tokyo, Paris, and Porto, Deso adds experience to his list of credentials as he prepares for his third race in China.

Philemon Kiplimo, another Kenyan sub-2:05 runner, is set to make a fresh appearance in Xiamen.

With his last marathon contested more than three months ago, Kiplimo arrives with the hope of making a significant impact. His personal best of 2:04:56 was achieved in Berlin, where he finished eighth.

The elite field also features notable sub-2:06 runners, including Moroccan record-holder Othmane El Goumri, who aims to build on his strong performance in Barcelona last March.

With a PB of 2:05:12, El Goumri clinched second place in Barcelona and later secured victory in the Sydney Marathon with a time of 2:08:20.

As the runners toe the line in Xiamen, the stage is set for a thrilling marathon spectacle, with Kipchumba looking to defend his title against a lineup of top-tier athletes hungry for victory and record-breaking performances.

Elite fields

Kibiwott Kandie (KEN) 2:04:48
Chalu Deso (ETH) 2:04:53
Philemon Kiplimo (KEN) 2:04:56
Philemon Rono (KEN) 2:05:00
Marius Kimutai (BRN) 2:05:06
Othmane El Goumri (MAR) 2:05:12
Nobert Kigen (KEN) 2:05:13
Shifera Tamru Aredo (ETH) 2:05:18
Philimon Kiptoo Kipchumba (KEN) 2:05:35
Solomon Kirwa Yego (KEN) 2:05:42
Kenneth Keter (KEN) 2:05:53
Fikre Bekele Tefera (ETH) 2:06:16
Edwin Kiptoo (KEN) 2:06:52
Tesfaye Birhan Nebebew (ETH) 2:06:52
Adane Kebede Gebre (ETH) 2:06:54
Victor Kipchirchir (KEN) 2:06:54
Henok Tesfay Ghebreab (ERI) 2:07:12
Mekonen Alene Belay (ETH) 2:09:19
Tesfaye Deriba (ETH) debut
Kiptanui Shadrack Kipchirchir (KEN) debut

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