Chumba, Kiplagat eye Chicago Marathon repeats

first_imgAnother intriguing challenger is Kenyan Stephen Sambu, making his marathon debut.Sambu, who has been outstanding in shorter distance road races since graduating from the University of Arizona in 2012, warmed up for the event with a victory in the seven-mile Falmouth Road Race in August.In the women’s race, Kiplagat will try to become the first woman to win back-to-back titles since Berhane Adere of Ethiopia in 2006 and 2007.Kiplagat made her decisive surge in the 25th mile last year to pull away from Ethiopians Yebrqual Melese and Birhane Dibaba.Fellow Kenyan Edna Kiplagat, who is the only other woman in the field to have run faster than 2:20, will make be running in Chicago for the first time, as will Ethiopian Gulume Chala.The other former champion in the field is Atsede Baysa, who won in Chicago in 2010 and 2012, while Melese returns vying to improve on her runner-up finish of last year.Paris Marathon winner Visiline Jepkesho, who represented Kenya at the Rio Olympics, is also in the field. Chicago, United States | AFP | Kenyans Dickson Chumba and Florence Kiplagat aim to defend their titles at the Chicago Marathon on Sunday, with 2012 winner Tsegaye Kebede out to spoil Chumba’s repeat bid in the Windy City.Chumba pulled away in the final three miles to lead a Kenyan sweep of the podium last year in 2hr 09min 25sec, with Sammy Kitwara second and Sammy Ndungu third.It was the slowest time in Chicago since 2007 after organizers opted not to use pace-setters.The 29-year-old Chumba, who finished third in Tokyo in 2:07:34 in his only prior marathon this year, is expected to face a strong challenge from Ethiopia’s Kebede, whose 2012 time of 2:04:38 was a personal best and then-course record.Kebede is also remembered for a thrilling 2010 duel in Chicago with Sammy Wanjiru, who emerged with the victory.World record-holder Dennis Kimetto was initially scheduled to race but was forced to withdraw due to a leg injury.Three other men in the field have run 2:07 or better, including Ethiopian Abayney Ayele — who clocked 2:06:45 in Dubai this year — and Chumba’s fellow Kenyans Abel Kirui and Micah Kogo.Kogo is still seeking a first marathon victory. He set his personal best of 2:06:56 in finishing fourth in Chicago in 2013. Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more

Unsettled Sanchez back in training with Arsenal

first_imgJust hours after posting a picture on social media of himself and his dogs next to a private jet, Sanchez added a photo of him running and wrote: “Back to training.”Speaking over the weekend, Wenger had said he would have to check on Sanchez’s fitness before deciding whether to include the former Barcelona star against Chelsea.Sanchez is scheduled to be at the Arsenal members open training session at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday.Arsenal start their Premier League campaign against Leicester City on August 11. Arsenal says Sanchez (left) is still in the picture.London, United Kingdom | AFP |  Alexis Sanchez finally returned to training with Arsenal on Tuesday amid persistent speculation the Chile forward is keen to leave the Gunners.Sanchez missed Arsenal’s pre-season tour of Australia and China, as well as last weekend’s Emirates Cup tournament, as he rested following international duty at the Confederations Cup.The 28-year-old was due to resume training with his Arsenal team-mates on Sunday, but he was unable to fly back to London until Tuesday after going down with the flu.Some cynical Arsenal fans feared Sanchez’s illness was a ruse to further distance himself from the Premier League club as he weighs up whether to push for a transfer.Sanchez is in the final year of his Arsenal contract and his decision not to accept boss Arsene Wenger’s offer of a lucrative new deal has sparked interest from Manchester City, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich and Juventus.With FA Cup holders Arsenal due to face champions Chelsea in the Community Shield at Wembley on Sunday, Sanchez has now rejoined his team-mates at their London Colney headquarters. Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more

BLINGISMYTHING JUST UP TO WIN GRADE III, $100,000 WILSHIRE STAKES BY A NOSE IN THRILLING FOUR-HORSE PHOTO; BAZE, KRULJAC TEAM FOR WIN AT MILE ON TURF

first_imgARCADIA, Calif. (April 26, 2015)–Patience is a virtue. You’d get no argument from Tyler Baze on that account, as he bided his time and orchestrated a thrilling nose victory in Sunday’s Grade III, $100,000 Wilshire Stakes aboard the Eric Kruljac-conditioned Blingismything who prevailed in a four-horse photo while covering a flat mile on turf in 1:37.16.Next to last with a quarter mile to run in a compact field of six fillies and mares 3-and-up, Baze split horses two off the rail a sixteenth out and eked out the win over a fast closing Smoove It, who was caught wide with Mario Gutierrez up.“I won pretty easy, I thought,” said Baze. “She’s just a nice filly. I broke her maiden first time out a couple of years ago at Hollywood. This is my first opportunity to ride her back so I made the most of it. She’s a nice filly to ride with a big heart.”Owned by Class Racing Stable, Blingismything was the second choice in the field at 5-2 and paid $7.40, $3.80 and $2.40. A 5-year-old Kentucky-bred mare by Arch, she was a close third in the Grade III Las Cienegas Stakes April 11, and the Wilshire triumph provided her with her first-ever stakes win. With the winner’s share of $60,000, she increased her earnings to $246,330 and ran her overall record to 10-4-2-3.Trained by Doug O’Neill, Smoove It, who saved ground at the rail into and around the far turn, angled five-wide off the fence approaching the quarter pole and just missed at 6-1, finishing a head in front of her favored stablemate, Birdlover. Smoove paid $5.60 and $3.20.“I thought I had it,” said Gutierrez. “She’s improving a lot and I was hoping to get that kind of race out of her.”Ridden by Rafael Bejarano, Birdlover, who broke from the outside, was off at 9-5, made an easy lead and tired late to finish third, a nose in front of Indecise. Birdlover paid $2.40 to show.“My filly broke beautifully,” said Bejarano. “We had an easy pace, 23 and change, 48 and change…it was perfect. The other horses were just flying late and we got beat a head. She ran great, no excuse.”Fractions on the race, set by Birdlover, were 23.64, 48.79, 1:13.48 and 1:25.23.Racing resumes at Santa Anita on Thursday, with first post time at 1 p.m. Admission gates open at 11 a.m. –30–last_img read more