Saturday, March 29, 2008

Strong field for KL marathon

NATIONAL marathon runners Shaharudin Hashim and Yuan Yufang will spearhead Malaysia's challenge in the AmBank-Kuala Lumpur International Marathon (KLIM) at the Dataran Merdeka tomorrow.

They will be up against a strong foreign cast comprising runners from top marathon countries such as Kenya, Japan, New Zealand and Canada.

Last year’s champion, Kenya's Cyprian Kiogara is back to defend his title. Kiogara is a member of the 37-strong Kenyan contingent boasting runners capable of clocking below two hours 30 minutes.

About 8,000 participants have signed up for the KLIM which is organised by the Kuala Lumpur City Hall and Federal Territory Amateur Athletics Association (FTAAA). The marathon offers a total cash prize of RM300,000.

The sponsors are AmBank Group, Milo, Resort World, F&N Coca-Cola and Adidas.

AmBank Group chairman Tan Sri Azman Hashim said they were happy with the response for the KLIM.

“The number of entries we have received is more than last year. We would like to encourage all serious and social runners to join in the AmBank KLIM.

“With the new 3km Fun Run category introduced this year, we would also like to invite more families to join in,” said Azman.

National coach P. Sidamparam is expecting the national runners to clock their personal best in the KLIM.

“It will be a difficult challenge for our runners as they will be up against runners from countries such as Kenya.

“However, our main target for the runners is to better their personal best.”

“The AmBank KLIM is used as a platform to select national runners for overseas competition as they usually receive numerous invites from countries such as China, Korea and even France to compete.

“The selection of the national runners to compete in these meets is based on their timings,'' said Sidam-param.

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