Kenya is likely to see many more athletes ditching track events for road races, says former world marathon record holder Paul Tergat.
Tergat who also moved up to the marathon where in 2003, became the first man in history to dip under 2:05 when he won Berlin Marathon in 2:04:55 says unlike before, stakes are high and will see more athletes going for road races.
His remarks comes after two-time World Cross champion Emily Chebet announced she will step up to the full marathon next year.
Chebet who set a Personal Best of 1:08:01 at last year’s Valencia Half Marathon said she is ready to stamp her authority over the classic distance.
“Next year I will try marathon though it’s very hard but with good training I’m sure I will make it. After the World Championships I will go for one road race then concentrate on marathon,” the Bydgoszcz 2010 and 13 IAAF World Cross Champion said.
The Commonwealth Games Bronze medallist who failed to defend her World Cross title in Guiyang, China will begin her marathon preparations immediately after the Beijing World Championships where she is eying a spot in 10,000m Kenya team.
Chebet’s interest to shift gear to full marathon comes four months after women’s 10,000m Worlds silver medallist, Gladys Cherono finished second on her debut at the Dubai Marathon.
“Compared to track events, Marathons or road races are the in thing going by the prize money and appearance fees that comes with it. I see even a bigger number of athletes soon headed that route,” Explained Tergat.
Kenya’s Olympics and world steeplechase champion Ezekiel Kemboi is another athlete on the verge of shifting to marathon. Kemboi announced two seasons ago that at the end of his track reign in the 3000m steeplechase, he would shift to the 42km event.