Olympic gold medalist readying for repeat attempt in The Windy City.
Sammy Wanjiru of Kenya, the gold medalist in the marathon at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, has announced he will return to the Bank of America Chicago Marathon in October and attempt to defend his title rather than make a world-record attempt in Berlin next month.
Wanjiru, who has also committed to running the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon on September 5, dropped out of Europe’s oldest road race, the Giro di Castelbuono, in July. The former world-record holder in the half marathon has had a rough go of it since winning last fall in Chicago, dropping out of last April’s London Marathon because of a knee issue.
“I will not be ready for Berlin,” Wanjiru told Xinhua. “It is a disappointment that I will miss out on a race I really wanted to run. But all is not lost, Chicago has a fantastic course and I will return there to defend my title.”
Despite having a reputation for being a fast course, Wanjiru will not make a world-record try at Chicago, instead saving that attempt for January’s Dubai Marathon. He believes under ideal conditions that almost two minutes can be taken off the current world mark of 2:03:59, held by Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie.
“I will be ready mental and physically for the Dubai marathon and with its fast course, I am sure I will be able to attempt breaking the world record,” said Wanjiru. “The world record can go down to 2:02 and if the weather is perfect and we have coordinated well. I believe Kenya has enough talented runners to bring that crown home. I will make my attempt, but is still far away to focus on it now.”
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