Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore: Kenyan runners hot favourites to win

(Left to right, front to back) Doris Changeywo, Sharon Cherop, Ramesh Palaniandy, Philemon Gitia Baaru, Evans Cheruiyot.
(Left to right, front to back) Doris Changeywo, Sharon Cherop, Ramesh Palaniandy, Philemon Gitia Baaru, Evans Cheruiyot.ST PHOTO: YEO KAI WEN

SINGAPORE - Evans Cheruiyot will lead the charge for honours in the men's 42.195km category at Sunday's Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore.

The 33-year-old Kenyan, who has a personal best time of 2hr 6min 25sec when he won the Chicago Marathon in 2008, is looking to make a strong comeback after being plagued by injuries over the last three years.

He won the Enschede Marathon in the Netherlands in April, and told a press conference on Friday afternoon that he is "doing his best" to continue his winning streak.

Cheruiyot will be up against compatriot Philemon Gitia Baaru, 34. Baaru holds a PB of 2:07:49 which he set when finishing second at the 2012 Kosice Marathon in Slovakia.

In the women's field, Sharon Cherop, winner of the women's marathon in 2013, will be the favourite to repeat her success on Sunday.

The 31-year-old Kenyan, winner of the 2012 Boston Marathon, has a PB 2:22:28 clocked during her second-place finish at the Berlin Marathon in 2013.

Another big name to watch on Sunday is Doris Changeywo, 30, who will be running in Singapore for the first time. The long-distance runner, who specialises in the 10,000m and cross-country running, admitted she was feeling nervous about the race.

She added: "When I was jogging this morning I realised that the weather is really humid and different from what I am used to (in Kenya). However, I am going to do my best."

Leading the local charge will be Mok Ying Ren, 27, and last year's third-place finisher in the men's full marathon, Ramesh Palaniandy, 40.

Palaniandy, a prisons officer, has been training seven days a week after work for the last three months, totalling about 30km every day.

He said: "My target is to do better than last year, so I am going give my best."

osadaj@sph.com.sg