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Edna Kiplagat takes marathon battle to Keitany in New York streets

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- At 38, many of elite athletes are looking at retirement, but it will not be the case for two-time world marathon champion Edna Kiplagat, who will be among the three female Kenyans at the New York Marathon on Sunday.

Kiplagat will be making her third start in a premier marathon this year after winning in Boston in April and finishing second in London World Championships in August.

In between she had two half marathons and now she hopes to sweep the competition in New York.

“Training has been smooth and went very well as planned for me. I will be looking forward to a good race where I want to be on the podium this Sunday,” Kiplagat said on Thursday in Nairobi before she flew out to the “Big Apple” on Sunday.

Among Kiplagat’s challengers will be Kenya’s Mary Keitany, who is the defending champion and debutante Betsy Saina.

Ironically, back in 2010, Kiplagat was the winner in two hours, 28 minutes and 20 seconds ahead of her training mate and neighbor in Iten Mary Keitany, who finished third in 2:29:01.

The two will have no love lost and will be every woman for herself. Keitany, who is putting her title on the line, will be gunning for her fourth title on Sunday.

In April she won in London and was also the winner in Newcastle over the half marathon distance in September.

“I have won in New York before in 2010. I want to try my best and bring the title though I know it will be a tough race,” said Kiplagat.

“After the World Championships, I had enough time to recover and start my training which has been good.”

Last year, Kiplagat was third in Tokyo Marathon before finishing second in Chicago Marathon. However, with almost perfect performance this year, she is spoiling for a fight against her compatriots.

However, alongside Kenya, there will be stiff competition from Ethiopians Mare Dibaba, Tigist Tufa and Mamitu Daska.

Kenya will be represented in the men’s race by Tokyo Marathon champion Wilson Kipsang, who returns to action just a month after dropping midway the race from Berlin Marathon in September.

Others are two-time World Cross Country champion Geoffrey Kamworor and Lucas Rotich.

             

 

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