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in News 11.07.2018 03:15
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NAIROBI, March 15 (Xinhua) -- Chicago Marathon champion Abel Kirui of Kenya wants to prove his critics wrong as he seeks to conquer the English capital road race by winning twice in London.

First he has a small challenge to secure victory at the London marathon on April 23, which will serve as a major catalyst for his selection into the Kenya team, to the World Championships in London in August.

Two years ago, Kirui got his ego badly bruised when the panel of Kenya team selectors overlooked his participation for the 2015 World Championships and Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

"It still pains me that I missed the two events. It was the right decision by the coaches not to think of me. I was just returning from injury and had no race time in my training. But it is always an honor to compete for Kenya and on that basis, my heart sunk for not being part of the team," he said on Wednesday.

Well, he has the chance to atone that by giving himself a head start should he win the London marathon next month.

"I have already shown great interest and fitness. In competing at the Barcelona Half Marathon this year, I showed what class I have and I am so happy with the time I clocked of 61.30 minutes. Certainly it is a good start towards my target of winning in London," said Kirui.

But Kirui will not be running alone in London to secure his ticket for the Kenya team to the World Championships.

There will be a horde of young and experienced talent on show who will be keen to cut him back to pieces as they go for the gold medal and lucrative price pack on offer.

"I have done well to show that I still have the energy and the tactics to win big city marathons irrespective of who I compete against," he said.

Of the 17 marathons that Kirui has finished to date, the former Olympic marathon silver medallist has made it on to the podium in more than half of them. And of his four marathon victories, two of them were at the World Championships.

Just four other athletes - Abel Anton, Jaouad Gharib, Catherine Ndereba and Edna Kiplagat - have won two world titles in the marathon.

Kirui now hopes to become the first person in history to win three world marathon titles in August in London.

Kirui, once one of the six fastest men in history, has learnt that fast times do not count for much in a championship setting. When he ran his personal best time of 2:05:04, he was sixth on the world all-time list.

By the time he won his second world title in 2011, he had slipped to 10th. Six years on from that, with the depth of marathon running having gone from strength to strength, Kirui is now 33rd on the world all-time list.

Kirui, however, is still a contender and nobody should rule him out of London quest for glory.


Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia reacts after the men's singles first round match against Brice Leverdez of France at the BWF Badminton World Championships in Glasgow Ryan Callahan Lightning Jersey , Britain, Aug. 22, 2017. Lee lost 1-2. (XinhuaShan Yuqi)

LONDON, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) -- Second seed Lee Chong Wei suffered a surprise defeat to Brice Leverdez of France in the first round of the badminton worlds here on Tuesday.

Twice defending champion and Olympic gold medalist Chen Long of China sailed to the second round with a 21-7 Brayden Point Lightning Jersey , 21-19 win over Georges Julien Paul of Mauritius.

The 34-year-old Lee, who lost to Chen in the final at the Rio Olympics, saw his chance to win his first world title evaporate as he was shocked by the 31st-ranked Frenchman Brice Leverdez.

Lee, who finished second three times Ondrej Palat Lightning Jersey , lost 19-21, 24-22, 17-21 to the 31-year-old Leverdez.

""I just tried my best today,"" said Lee Alex Killorn Lightning Jersey , who surrendered a 15-10 lead in the third game. ""Pressure is normal. I didn't play well and I don't blame my game. I just made many simple mistakes.""

When asked whether to fight for another world championships, he said, ""I don't know.""

Lee, also a three-time Olympic silver medalist Chris Kunitz Lightning Jersey , started this season with his fourth win in All England Open but lost to arch rival Lin Dan of China for two consecutive tournaments, the first in the final of Malaysia Open, and the second in semifinals of Asia Championships.

Leverdez won his only major world trophy at the 2013 Scottish Open. He will next take on the winner between Misha Zilberman of Israel and Zvonimir Durkinjak of Croatia.

Leverdez said: ""I do not really care about what seed anyone is, the fact is I played my game and in a relaxed manner.""

Lee's defeat means that Chen will have a more smooth path to the final in the second half Tyler Johnson Lightning Jersey , but the fifth seed played down the chance of winning his third successive world title.

""Of course I hope to win the title again, but first of all you need to do well in each match. Every match is not easy. You need to focus on the next match instead of the semifinal or the final matches.""

Chen's next opponent is 33-year-old Sony Dwi Kuncoro of Indonesia, who defeated Milan Ludik of Czech Republic 21-16, 21-7.

Elsewhere Anton Stralman Lightning Jersey , third seed Viktor Axelsen of Denmark fought back from one game down to oust Takuma Ueda of Japan 17-21, 21-6, 21-13 while China's 10th seed Tian Houwei beat Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus of Denmark 21-14, 17-21 Vladislav Namestnikov Womens Jersey , 21-16.

In the women's competitions, top seed Akane Yamaguchi, who received a bye in the first round, breezed past Denmark's Line Hojmark Kjaersfeldt. China's Chen Yufei Andrei Vasilevskiy Womens Jersey , Chen Xiaoxin and Sun Yu, the fifth seed, reached the third round.

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