Kenyan violence affected training: Kipkurgat

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Mumbai, Jan 17 (UNI) Kenyan Rono Daniel Kipkurgat, winner of the Mumbai Marathon in 2006, today admitted that the violence back home in Kenya after the elections did affect his training a bit.

Speaking to the media on arrival in the city to participate in the fifth edition of the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon on January 20, Kipkurgat, however, said that he was happy to be back in Mumbai and is looking forward to running a good race.

''My training was affected for a couple of days due to the unrest back home, but I am hoping that my energy levels are high on the coming Sunday so that I pull through another victory at the Marathon, which I hold very close to my heart,'' he said.

Kipkurgat, who has a personal best of 2:09:35, while the best he has run in Mumbai is 2:12:03, did not want to name any specific person as his challenger, stated, ''All the athletes would be equally dangerous and I would rather concentrate on bettering my run and see that hopefully I finish in front of the pack on Sunday.'' He also said that in 2006, he had gone on a run a few days before the event on the route that helped him tremendously, as he was able to know the route and plan his run better.

His teammate, last year edition's winner Johan Kelai, who also admitted to having being troubled by the violence after the elections, however, said that he is fully prepared physically and mentally for the Marathon.

Having a personal best of 2:09:30 which was recorded last year in Toronto, Kelai said, ''This year's race would be a great one and I am fully geared up for it.'' Kelai's best in Mumbai is 2:12:27, which is lower than that of Kipkurgat, though Kelai's personal best is better, the Marathon promises to be a great one between two great former champions.

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