The long-distance runner and multiple national level record holder, Shifaz Mohamed, departed on Tuesday to Kenya for a two-month training course.
Shifaz, who secured the course by himself, aims to renew his national marathon record at the 'Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon' slated for January 25, 2019, in Dubai.
The training club which Shifaz is visiting stated that they are happy to welcome the national half-marathon and marathon champion, and that it is an honour for the club to train Shifaz. The club added that Shifaz's daily training and improvements will be directly monitored by their head coach.
The current marathon world record holder is Kenyan-born Eliud Kipchoge, who clocked in a record time of two hours, one minute and 39 seconds, in Berlin. The six previous world record holders in marathon running were all Kenyan athletes.
The national marathon record, which stood at 2:45:03 belonged to Hussain Ali for 27 long years until it was smashed by Ahmed Sharaf in March 2017 by a time of 2:42:28. Shifaz, who ran his first marathon, broke Sharaf's record just six months later, in September 2017, when he finished the marathon in 2:40:47 seconds. He then renewed his own record in January 2018, when he ran a marathon in Nepal and clocked in a time of 2:39:40, after which he ran in the 'Gold Coast Marathon' in Australia in July and renewed his record with 2:35:17 on the clock.
Shifaz also holds the national half-marathon record with a time of 1:14:01. Shifaz made significant improvements after his training with employer Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) and his fellow runners. Nepal's experienced coach, Dhani Ram Chaudhari, was brought to capital Male' to provide a two-month training course, after which Shifaz left to Nepal and trained there.
Although Shifaz secured his training in Kenya privately, he has thanked the Minister of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment Ahmed Mahloof, the Maldives Olympics Committee and the Athletics Association. Additionally, he thanked his employer MNDF for providing leave for his training.