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Paris beckons as Kenyan Visiline Jepkesho
focusing on France’s top Marathon

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Paris marathon champion Visiline Jepkesho of Kenya is certain she will be successful in defense of her title on return to France on April 9.

Jepkosho, 28, still dreams of winning a medal at the World Championships and after failing to do well in both Beijing World Championships and the Rio Olympics Games.

However, she is not certain her win in Paris will be enough to convince the selectors to give her a third chance after she failed in Beijing and Rio.

“What I have to do is win and then the rest is not up to me. I failed in Beijing (position 20) and Rio (48) because of humidity. Europe has a different weather and hopefully, they will be kind enough to give me a chance,” Jepkosho said.

“But Kenya has many runners and making the team even at your best form is hard. So fingers crossed,” she said in Nairobi on Wednesday.

Before travelling to Paris to defend her title, the 2013 Milan Marathon champion will be pacing at the annual Nagoya Marathon, the only women race in the Japan City on March 12.

“My focus is to defend my Paris Marathon title but before that I will be travelling to pace at the Nagoya women marathon. This will be great for me as I will be gauging my speed and endurance,” said the Lisbon marathon champion.

Until 2015, many had not heard of Jepkosho. She holds the 2:24:44 personal best time from Paris last year, which is almost six minutes slower than Kenya’s national record held by Mary Keitany’s of 2:18:37.

Jepkosho has won a number of races that include Darica Half Marathon (2013), Milan Marathon (2014), Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon (2015), Lisbon Marathon (2015) and podium finish in Paris Marathon in 2015.

The Nandi based runner won the 2013 Darica half marathon style and she earned a place to run for Kenya at the 2017 world championships but her performance was below par and in 2016, she was also part of the marathon team to the Rio de Janeiro Olympic marathon where her results was disappointing.

“The two events are important to gain experience and hopefully, I will be lucky on third time round,” she said.

“I want to run for Kenya again in the London world championships. And Paris will play a critical role. But winning is not everything and with the kind of rivals I expect in Paris, a good performance is always a challenge to everyone.”



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