Boosted by his recent half marathon victory in the national team testing event, Chinese runner Duo Bujie vows to maintain this momentum and fight for a top-eight finish in the marathon race at the Tokyo Olympics next summer.
The 26-year-old Duo clocked one hour, five minutes, and eight seconds to win a half marathon testing event held by the Chinese national team in southwest China's Linzhi last week. Given that the race was staged on a course with an average altitude of more than 2,200 meters, Duo was satisfied with his recent form, reports Xinhua news agency.
"I spend several months every year training with high-level African runners in Ethiopia since 2013, which really helps me to progress," he said. "During my overseas training, I could keep with the pace of most of the sub-2:10 runners. That is where my confidence comes from."
Duo's marathon debut dates back to March, 2016 when he clocked 2:13:16 to book his berth for the Rio Olympic Games. Although he only achieved a lackluster 2:24:22 time in Rio.
Duo improved his personal best time to 2:10:31 last March, when he won the 2019 Xuzhou Marathon and met the entry standard for the Tokyo Olympics.
He spent the whole winter training in Ethiopia and planned to take part in marathon races in Tokyo, Seoul and Barcelona to build up for the Olympics. However, with the outbreak of COVID-19, Duo had to abandon his race schedule and stay in his hometown in Tibet to continue his training.
According to his coach Gesang Ciren, Duo has been enjoying solid form since his winter training session. Now with the Olympic Games being postponed to 2021, Duo believes his preparation for the Games will not be impacted much.
"I am in very good shape now. And I am only 26. A lot of world elite marathon runners reach their career peak after 30 years old. Waiting for one more year will not be a problem for me," he said.
"I will make good use of this year and give it all out. My goal is to earn a top-eight finish in Tokyo next year."
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