Mutai wants PB at Venice Marathon

Mutai (2nd L) pursues the leading pack at the 2016 Rio Olympics. PHOTO/COURTSEY 

What you need to know:

Mutai is now looking to redefine himself by attempting to get a ticket to the Budapest Worlds due Hungary next August when he runs at the Venice Marathon in Italy on Sunday.


Solomon Mutai had always been a regular on Team Uganda’s athletics to major championships.

The marathoner did not miss any global event of the kind between the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland and the 2019 Doha World Athletics Championships in Qatar.

However, the man who turned 30 on Saturday has since missed the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in Japan last year and the recent Oregon Worlds in the USA and Birmingham Commonwealth Games in England.

Mutai is now looking to redefine himself by attempting to get a ticket to the Budapest Worlds due Hungary next August when he runs at the Venice Marathon in Italy on Sunday.

“Yes, I am ready to do something,” he told this paper shortly before flying out on Wednesday for the World Athletics Bronze Label road race.

The 2015 world bronze medallist missed the recent Olympics because he failed to finish the Xiamen Marathon in Tuscany, Italy at the start of 2021.

For this year’s championships, Mutai’s time of two hours, 10 minutes and 25 seconds after third place at the Istanbul Marathon in Turkey last November was way down the pecking order, led by Stephen Kissa and Victor Kiplangat.

Currently, just four men Kissa, Commonwealth champion Kiplangat, Martin Musau and Geofrey Kusuro have hit the qualification standard of 2:09:40 within the window of December 1, 2021 up to May 30, 2023.

Mutai, a silver medallist at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Australia, will target to join that list when he runs on the tricky course that starts in Stra and through Mestre, Parco San Giuliano and Ponte della Libertà and ends at Riva dei Sette Martiri in Venice.

“My target is to be on the podium and reduce my PB (personal best) because it is a hard course,” the humble man from Bukwo said. His PB stands at 2:08:25 set when he came third at the 2019 Vienna Marathon in Austria.

In case he posts a sub-2:07h as he wishes, Mutai will also have posted under the Venice course record time of 2:08:13 set by Kenyan John Komen in 2009. “My body is good,” Mutai added.

He will line-up in an elite field comprising Ethiopian Regasa Bejiga as the fastest man with a PB of 2:06:24 from third place at the 2020 Seville Marathon in Spain.

Another one to watch is Desta Habtu who is a sub-2:07 performer and so is Castellon Marathon winner Lemi Dumecha. Kenyans worthy of note are John Langat, Richard Kiprop and debutant Robert Kipchirchir who has a half-marathon PB time of 1:00:21.

UGANDAN IN ACTION - SUNDAY

Solomon Mutai (Venice Marathon)

2023 BUDAPEST WORLD ATHLETICS CHAMPIONSHIPS

MEN’S MARATHON - TEAM UGANDA QUALIFICATION

1 Stephen Kissa; Hamburg Marathon (2nd, 2:04:48 on Apr 24, 2022)

2 Victor Kiplangat; Hamburg Marathon (4th, 2:05:09 on Apr 24, 2022)

3 Martin Musau; Amsterdam Marathon (12th, 2:09:04 on Oct 16, 2022)

4 Geofrey Kusuro; Madrid Marathon (2nd, 2:09:23 on Apr 24, 2022)

Entry Standard: 2:09:40, Qualifying window: Dec 1, 2021 - May 30, 2023


MUTAI AT A GLANCE

Full name: Solomon Munyo Mutai

Date of Birth: Oct 22, 1992

Home town: Bukwo

Main Event: Marathon

Personal Best: 2:08:25

Manager: Giani Damadona (Italian)

Coaches: Alex Malinga, Gabriele Rosa

Kit Sponsor: Adidas

MUTAI’S MARATHON CAREER PROGRESSION

2013 Mombasa Marathon - 1st (2:14:21)

2014 Commonwealth Games - 4th (2:12:26)

2014 Hainan Danzhou Marathon - 3rd (2:12:59)

2015 Hannover Marathon - 5th (2:10:42)

2015 Beijing Worlds Champs - 3rd (2:13:30)

2016 Lake Biwa Marathon - 11th (2:14:57)

2016 Rio Olympics - 8th (2:11:49)

2017 Lake Biwa Marathon - 3rd (2:09:59)

2017 London World Champs - 11th (2:13:29)

2018 Commonwealth Games - 2nd (2:19:02)

2018 Shanghai Marathon - 6th (2:09:27)

2019 Vienna Marathon - 3rd (2:08:25)

2019 Doha World Champs - DNF

2019 Singapore Marathon - 2nd (2:19:48)

2021 Xiamen Marathon - DNF

2021 Istanbul Marathon - 3rd (2:10:25)

2022 Enschede Marathon - 6th (2:11:01)

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