Mvuyekure vows to leave mark in Moscow

RWANDA’S Jean Pierre Mvuyekure faces strong elite athletes when he competes in the men’s full marathon on Saturday in the ongoing IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia.
Jean Pierre Mvuyekure made his international debut at the 2012 London Olympic Games. Times Sport/Courtesy.
Jean Pierre Mvuyekure made his international debut at the 2012 London Olympic Games. Times Sport/Courtesy.

RWANDA’S Jean Pierre Mvuyekure faces strong elite athletes when he competes in the men’s full marathon on Saturday in the ongoing IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia.

Mvuyekure, who is making his debut in the world athletics meet, will be hoping to leave a mark on the streets of Moscow starting at 1:30pm Rwandan time. The race will be live on Super Sport 6.

Before leaving for Moscow he said he was in good shape and hopes to stage a good performance against the world’s best runners at the 42km race.

“I can’t promise winning a medal for Rwanda but all I need is to stage a convincing performance. I am ready for the contest, although it will be tight considering the line up of elite athletes all wanting the title, I am ready to give them a run for their money,” noted Mvuyekure.

Mvuyekure, who holds a personal best of 2:13:19, face stiff challenge from Kenyans who have dominated  this race, having won the past three editions.

But their rivals from  Ethiopia have enough strength and quality on their team  to potentially end that streak.

Luke Kibet in 2007, followed by Abel Kirui in 2009 and 2011, took the past three World Marathon titles, however, with Kirui out due to  injury, and several other stellar names missing, the Kenyan team has an inexperienced look about it.

Nonetheless, any Kenyan Marathon team should never be underestimated. The team includes  potentials like Bernard Koech, who ran a lifetime best of 2:04:53 to finish fifth in Dubai in January.

The brother of 1500m runner Bethwell Birgen, Koech followed that up with an impressive Lisbon Half-marathon victory in 59:54 and could pose a threat.

Peter Some, another man from a running family and the son of 1983 IAAF World Cross Country Championships bronze medallist Some Muge, claimed an impressive win in the Paris Marathon with 2:05:38 in the spring and he has potential to win a medal.

The Tokyo Marathon second and third place finishers, Michael Kipyego and Bernard Kipyego, will also compete. Rounding off  the five-strong Kenyan team is Nicholas Kipkemboi, who finished sixth in January’s Dubai Marathon in 2:06:33.

Ethiopia has surprisingly only taken this title on one occasion, when Gezahegne Abera took gold in Edmonton 2001. However, they have sufficient quality in their ranks to add a second men’s World Marathon title in Moscow.

Tsegay Kebede is their most experienced man and he defeated one of the greatest Marathon runners in history in April to take his second London Marathon title.

Kebede, still only 26, is also a proven championship performer having snared bronze medals in the Marathon at the 2008 Olympic Games and 2009 World Championships and he will determined to take his first major championship title.

If anyone is going to stop the Kenyan and Ethiopian assault for gold then 2012 Olympic champion Stephen Kiprotich looks best equipped for the challenge.

The 24-year-old Ugandan, who came ninth at the 2011 World Championships, caused a big surprise to win on the streets of London last summer but on his return to the British capital for the London Marathon in April he was  way off the pace, finishing sixth in 2:08:05.

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