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Korir relishes Doha heat eyeing gold at debut World marathon C'ships

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-09-18 09:38
Kenyan runner Laban Korir celebrates as he crosses the finish line on the second position of the 40th Paris Marathon after completing the course in Paris, April 3, 2016. [Photo/IC]

NAIROBI - After a back injury ruined his first win in 2019 at the Barcelona marathon in April, Laban Korir is hopeful to end the year with victory at the World Marathon Championships in Doha, Qatar.

The 34-year-old has thrown down the marker and hopes his persistence, perseverance and patience will pay off as he makes his debut for Kenya team in the world championships from Sept 28 to Oct 6.

"After I got the message from Athletics Kenya (that I was in the team) I was very happy. It is not easy to make the Kenyan team in the marathon," he said on Tuesday.

"You dream of making the Kenyan team but you think, no, it is not possible. I was so proud to be selected. I want to represent my country well."

After a sixth place in Boston - in baking hot temperatures which soared to a high of 31 C - and a respectable 11th in the Chicago Marathon (2:09:52), Korir is ready to face the heat in Qatar.

In 2014, Korir entered the marathon winners' circle for the first time with victory in the Toronto clocking 2:08:15, and he has had impressive consistency over the past three or four seasons.

In 2016 he placed second in the Paris Marathon in 2:07:29 before running a personal best of 2:05:54 for fourth in the Amsterdam Marathon later that year.

In Doha, he will team up with defending champion Geoffrey Kirui, Amos Kipruto, Paul Lonyangata and Ernest Ngeno.

"If you are disciplined, work hard and are serious about every workout then this can lead to good results," explains Korir.

At the Barcelona Marathon in February a back injury, picked up a week prior, badly compromised his efforts to produce his best, but once again showing an indomitable spirit he battled to the finish ninth.

"In my mind, I wanted to finish the race because I wanted to race at the World Championships. I have such a passion to represent my country," said Korir.

Training with two world and Olympic champions Eliud Kipchoge and Stephen Kiprotich, Korir knows he is learning from the best and will want to stand out as the best in Doha.

"The one thing I have learned is never to lose hope in your life. Anything can happen at any time and anything is possible. I'm very happy after all these years I will finally get the chance to represent my country," he said.

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