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Edna Kiplagat Kiplagat seeks another Rio Olympics opportunity | Coastweek

MOSCOW Russia (Xinhua) -- Edna Ngeringwony Kiplagat after competing in the Women’s Marathon Final at the 14th IAAF World Athletics Championships Moscow 2013. NXIHUA PHOTO - WANG LILI

Edna Kiplagat Kiplagat seeks another opportunity in Rio Olympics

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s Edna Kiplagat is ready to throw everything to get the marathon medal she covets in Rio Olympic Games.

The 35-year-old has just returned to training after two months sabbatical leave.

She will seek to dust off her rust on Saturday as she competes at the Kenya Police Cross Country Championships in Nairobi, before heading to Europe for one more road race.

"My mind is focused on the Olympics and that is why I did not compete in New York or Chicago.

"I wanted to rest.

"But I have to train harder to make the team and I know running at the London Marathon in April will not be easy.

"It is there that the Kenya team will be selected," she said Friday from Eldoret.

Kiplagat, the former two time World marathon champion is also frustrated by the organizers of the World Marathon Majors (WMM) who have not honoured her with 1 million U.S. dollars as prize money for the event after her rivals who beat her to the heist, Russia’s Liliya Shobukhova and Rita Jeptoo of Kenya were banned for doping in the last past seasons.

Shobukhova beat Kiplagat to scoop the 500,000 dollars series jackpot in 2010/2011, and the Kenyan runner finished second in the rankings to compatriot Rita Jeptoo in 2013/2014.

"I am not getting younger and this would have done me a great deal.

"That is why I have stopped everything to focus on the Olympics.

"The money is good, but they have not awarded me the same since," she said.

In the wake of her failed attempt to make it three world championships gold in a row, as she came fifth in Beijing in August, Kiplagat has immersed herself in training and is certain to emerge stronger to contest the gold medal in Rio.

Kiplagat has no automatic ticket to Rio and must fight for her slot against Berlin Marathon champion Gladys Cherono, Chicago winner Florence Kiplagat, New York winner Mary Keitany among others in London in April.

It illustrates the strength in depth of the African nation on the roads, as well as track, and it could be a precursor for what promises to be an intense battle to merely earn be selected for the Olympic Games.

"It’s difficult to get that chance to compete for Kenya at the Olympics.

"But it is a challenge worth taking.

"My plan is to be to run a good marathon because it’s so difficult in Kenya to get selected," Kiplagat admitted.

In 2012 Olympic Games, Kiplagat finished a disappointing 20th coming in between her two world championships wins.


Asbel Kiprop dreams to hold both world and Olympic gold in 1,500m race

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- World 1,500m champion Asbel Kiprop of Kenya says it will be an honor for him to hold both the world and Olympic title in 2016.

Kiprop, who lost out to compatriot Julius Yego, the world javelin champion, in Kenya’s sports awards in Nairobi on Friday, said his rival did well and it was right to honor him.

"But it has aroused the hunger in me to win the award and I will use the Olympics to convince the selectors to pick me for the 2016 awards," he said Saturday in Nairobi.

Kiprop, 27, missed the world record in the four lap race by a fraction of second in Monaco and said he is concerned with winning gold in Rio than breaking the world record.

"It is an Olympic year and I have to be fresh to challenge for the main title. But I will see which races to compete in during the Diamond League and hopeful test my body. Going for the world record is not on my agenda at the moment," he said.

Kiprop was among a battery of athletes that competed in the Kenya Police Cross Country Championships in Nairobi on Saturday. He said he is keen to use the event to test his endurance.

"I have no intentions of competing at the Africa Cross Country Championships in Yaounde, Cameroon in March. My interest is just to help me gauge my preparedness as I wait for the start of the track season," he added.

Kiprop won gold in Beijing Olympics, but had to wait for almost a year for him to be crowned, after winner Rasgid Ramzi of Bahrain was found to have doped.

"I want to win the gold in the real competition, not in some functions," he said.

Kiprop was injured as he competed in the finals at the London Olympics in 2012 and was last in the race many expected him to win.

But he hopes to atone for that missed chance in Rio as he enjoys his best form so far in the career.

Edna Kiplagat Kiplagat seeks another Rio Olympics opportunity | Coastweek

MOSCOW Russia (Xinhua) -- Edna Ngeringwony Kiplagat [left] of Kenya celebrates after the Women’s Marathon Final at the 14th IAAF World Athletics Championships Moscow 2013. Edna Ngeringwony Kiplagat claimed the title with 2 hours 25 minutes and 44 seconds. XINHUA PHOTOS - WANG LILI and LI MING



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