Defending champions Nephat Kinyanjui and Chen Rong will return to defend their titles at Sunday's 28th Beijing International Marathon.
The race kicks off Tiananmen Square at 8 a.m. with a new title sponsor, HYX (Heng Yuan Xiang), a Chinese textiles company. The Beijing International Marathon is an IAAF Gold Label Road Race.
This race is traditionally a showcase for domestic athletes and the 2007 version of the event was true to form, as the home country snagged two of the top three places in the men's Marathon and all three top places in the women's race. The only non-Chinese on the podium was men's champion Kinyanjui of Kenya, who returns to Beijing this year to defend his title. Last year he took the Marathon crown in a personal best 2:08:09 and was followed by two outstanding Chinese performances, Ren Longyun (2:08:15) and Han Gang (2:08:56).