30 Sep

Mbishei to Defend Edinburgh Title

Titus Mbishei

Titus Mbishei's late decision to defend his Bupa Great Edinburgh Run title this Sunday adds further strength to what looks to be the best ever field for the 10km event.

The former World junior 10,000 gold medallist will be aiming to match his solid victory ahead of fellow Kenyan Edwin Soi in last year's race but knows on this occasion the threat from Martin Mathathi will offer him an even stronger challenge.

Mathathi, winner of the recent Bupa Great North Run where he ran the fastest half marathon ever seen on British soil is confident of another victory and looking forward to the race, he said: "This is my first time to run in Scotland. Because I am based in Japan most of the year I have not raced much in Europe."

Kenyan athletes aside, Craig Mottram, a former World 5,000 bronze medallist carries Australian hopes while Chema Martinez, a past European 10,000 champion should pose the biggest threat from the Spanish contingent at the meeting.

John Kelai, winner of last year's Commonwealth Games marathon gold medal will also be in action while Finn Jussi Utriainen who placed sixth in the Bupa Great North Run is making a quick return to UK soil.

There will be a new women's champion crowned with Florence Kiplagat an absentee after opting to run in the BMW Berlin Marathon last Sunday where she scored a runaway victory ahead of Germany's Irina Mikitenko and World record holder Paula Radcliffe.

If she were present, Kiplagat would certainly have found it a tough defence of her title against a field headed by fellow Kenyan Lucy Kabuu who trounced the opposition at the Bupa Great North Run.

Kabuu, confident of another victory, said: "This will be my first time to run in Edinburgh but I ran in Scotland before where I won over 5,000 on the track in Glasgow in 2007."

Another Kenyan Irene Jerotich, winner of the 2010 Commonwealth marathon crown is also competing, while European Indoor 3,000 champion Helen Clitheroe who has enjoyed the best year of her career including an outstanding win at the Bupa Great Manchester Run over 10km in May, will head the British challenge.

European Junior Cross Country title holder Charlotte Purdue, one of the new exciting young talents emerging in UK athletics, will be looking for a top placing. Freya Murray will be hopeful, after finishing third Briton home behind Jo Pavey and Clitheroe at the Bupa Great North Run, of producing another good display on home soil.

You can watch all the action on Channel 5 from 10am on Sunday, October 2.