Chumba trains gun on recapturing Chicago marathon title
Nairobi : Tokyo marathon champion Dickson Chumba of Kenya has thrown down the gauntlet and warned his rivals at the Chicago marathon he is in top form and ready to win his second marathon this year.
The inclusion of Olympic champion Mo Farah and defending champion Galen Rupp in the starting line-up for the Chicago marathon on Sunday has only helped inspire Chumba to strive and put his best foot forward in his quest to be the new winner of the World Marathon Majors (WMM) circuit, reports Xinhua news agency.
"There is no doubt in my mind. I return to Chicago with one mission, to regain my title," Chumba said here.
In 2015, Chumba won his first Chicago marathon, but saw it taken by compatriots Abel Kirui in 2016 to make it three on the line for Kenya after Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge won it in 2014.
"I am going there to win. I do not fear anyone, not even the likes of Mo Farah or anyone else, I know I am ready," Chumba warned.
"It is down to how you have trained. I have done my part and so have the others. But I know how fit I have been and Chicago will be mine to win. Expect a good performance."
Besides Rupp and Farah, there are more Kenyans in the line-up and Chumba will need to be at his best form to dwarf them.
Abel Kirui, the two-time world marathon champion, who was second in last year's race, is also back to reclaim the title he won in 2016. There will also be Augustine Choge, a veteran track athlete, who is seeking to find his groove in the marathon world.
World half marathon silver medallist Bedan Karoki has shaken off an ankle sprain and is back in contention for the title and so will be Boston marathon champion Yuki Kawauchi of Japan and reigning world marathon champion Geoffrey Kirui.
Chumba has had great success on the marathon circuit having raced in 17 road races so far. He hopes on his 18th attempt, he will hold out his opponents for another win.
"Focus is always on the Olympics. I still have the strength to battle for the honours and 2020 is not far. But we also have the world championships next year. What is important for me to excel in Chicago and early next year is to give myself a chance for selection to the Kenya team," he said.