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Tokyo marathon champion Sarah Chepchirchir targets London

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Tokyo marathon champion Sarah Chepchirchir of Kenya is gunning for slot in Kenya team to the World Championships hopeful she will be third time lucky.

Twice she was named in Kenya team, the last in 2010 where she finished eleventh in the World Half Marathon in Nanning, China.

However, after stamping her authority in winning the Tokyo marathon, Chepchirchir is dreaming of winning her first medal for Kenya in London in August.

Of course the decision to compete at the World Championships is not purely hers because it is up to the country’s selectors to name her in the team.

"I believe I have done my part.

"Winning in Tokyo was the target and I have got it in a fast time.

"I want to see if they will offer me a chance to compete for this country again," Chepchirchir said Friday in Nairobi.

With her win in Tokyo marathon, where she clocked her personal best time of 2:19:47, Chepchirchir joins an elite list of 15 all best time marathons globally and top seven in Kenya.

Chepchirchir is the training partner and sister-in-law of Olympic marathon champion Jemima Sumgong and they share the same agent, Federico Rosa.

The 32-year-old Chepchirchir has been a sub-1:10 half marathoner since 2010. She didn’t finish a marathon until last year where she first ran 2:30:08 in Hamburg.

She then improved to 2:24:13 and the win in Lisbon in October.

Being her first appearance in the Marathon major, the athlete who comes from Nandi County achieved another feat of running sub-2:20:00 in the Japanese soil.

Now the next stop should be in London, first in April as a pace setter and then in August as a member of the Kenya team, to the World Championships.

"Tokyo was a good place and now my focusing is to represent Kenya in the world championships. I have the experience and I have competed for my country before.

"However inclusion into the team will depend on performance and consistency of other top runners in the country.

"London marathon has been said will serve as a trial and I want to show the selectors that I have the skills too, though I may not finish the race," she said.




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