Dickson Chumba undaunted by strong Chicago Marathon field

Kenya's Dickson Chumba won the Bank of America Chicago Marathon in 2015, and finished on the podium in 2014 and 2016. EPA/Tannen Maury

Reigning Tokyo Marathon champion Dickson Chumba is looking forward to being back in the elite men's field for Bank of America Chicago Marathon, after missing the race in 2017.

Kenya's Chumba, the Chicago champion in 2015 and a podium finisher twice more, is confident of recording a fourth top-three finish on Sunday, despite the stacked field that features the likes of Galen Rupp and Mo Farah.

Speaking to KweséESPN at 2 Running Club camp in Kapsabet, Kenya, where he trains under Italian tactician Claudio Berardelli, the 31-year-old said: "I know that for the Chicago Marathon I have trained well and I know I will have a good race.

"When I go there, I will also find people who have equally done the same, I have done as much as them and I do not fear anyone.

"I am going there to win."

When asked what he thought of this year's elite field, which has attracted the likes of defending champion Rupp, double Olympic long-distance champion Farah, and current world champion Geoffrey Kirui, he was unwavering.

"I do not fear anyone, not even the likes of Mo Farah or anyone else, I know I am ready," Chumba asserted.

"I know I have trained well. I would like to tell the people I will be running with, let's go and give a good performance."

Coach Berardelli, who has trained with Chumba since 2008, was more pragmatic when discussing the strong field and Chumba's chances of coming out on top.

"Dickson Chumba will be facing one of the toughest fields in his career," Berardelli told KweséESPN. "It will be difficult to pick who will win that day, it will definitely be a fight. The guy who has to win will fight till the last metre, but we are ready for it. His experience and his shape will allow him to have a say that day.

"Chicago Marathon preparations have been interesting for Dickson because after 17 marathons in his career, and this being the 18th one, it is amazing how he is still performing at very high level.

"I do not want to exaggerate, but I think he is in the best shape he has been in, so I'm looking forward to what will happen in Chicago."

Chumba agreed as he reflected on his Tokyo victory in February this year, his second win in Japan, and says that going for his next assignment on the back of a huge win is a key motivator.

"I won Tokyo Marathon earlier in the year and I know I am in shape this year," he says of his win in a time of 2:05:30, taking the title from marathon legend Wilson Kipsang.

"This year my training has been good, unlike the previous year where I got a slight injury. But in this calendar year, I got none at all and my training has been good and I feel my body is okay."