Wanjiru optimistic

World half-marathon record holder Sammy Wanjiru will be taking part in this year's Great North Run in September.

World half-marathon record holder Sammy Wanjiru will be taking part in this year's Great North Run in September.

Wanjiru, 20, will be looking to break the current GNR record of 59 minutes and five seconds set by Zersenay Tadesse of Eritrea in 2005.

The Kenyan has broken the half-marathon record three times, with his current best lying at 58:35.

Only two other athletes have ever run the GNR in under one hour, Ethiopian Dejene Berhane and Kenyan Paul Kosgei.

"With Wanjiru being a natural front funner, fireworks are expected of him in September if the weather is in his favour," said GNR elite director Matthew Turnbull.

Wanjiru first set the world record when he was 18, clocking in at 59:16 at a race in Rotterdam, Holland.

In February 2007 he reclaimed the title from Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie with a time of 58:53, before breaking his own record five weeks later. - BBC

X