Kenya's Karoki eyes on Tokyo Marathon after strong return from injury

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NAIROBI, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- World Half Marathon silver medalist Bedan Karoki from Kenya said here Friday that he will be ready for the Tokyo Marathon 2019 on March 3.

The 28-year-old will be returning to the full 42km contest after failing to finish the Fukuoka Marathon at the start of December.

"I have recovered from the injury that saw me drop out of Fukuoka Marathon last month. I have raced in a 10km race to gauge my body and it has responded positively," said Karoki.

The Kenyan said he risks missing the World Championships if he fails to return to the winner's podium in the marathon.

"I have been lucky to compete in the last three World Championships in Moscow, Beijing and London. Although I was not lucky to win a medal in the 10,000m, it was a great experience," said Karoki.

"I now focus on the marathon and the next stop is in Tokyo."

Kenya is yet to name its team to the World Marathon Championships in Doha, Qatar and Karoki, whose most recent finish in marathon was in Chicago in October, clocking 2:07:59 in ninth place, will be keen to cover the loss and win in Tokyo.

"I am preparing for the Tokyo Marathon and as part of my preparations, I intend to run a few short races on the road," he added.

However, the former London marathon bronze medalist said he is done with cross country and ruled himself out of the World Cross Country Championships in Denmark in March.

Last week, Karoki won the inaugural Nyahururu 10km road in 28:23, ahead of Emmanuel Bett 28:24 and Amos Kirui 28:53.

The runners enjoyed a fairly flat course and strong back wind which could be credited for the fast times recorded.

Kenya won the last World Marathon Championships in London through Geoffrey Kirui and has a hard task to select the best three men and women to lead its quest to defend the title in Doha in 2019. Enditem

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