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Kenyan Florence Kiplagat ready for India test
after poor show at Chicago marathon

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Former Chicago marathon champion Florence Kiplagat of Kenya has recovered from exhaustion, which saw her failure in defense of the title in the United States, and is ready to return to action.

Speaking from Eldoret on Wednesday, Kiplagat said she has recovered from muscular crump that saw her forfeit the title in Chicago and is ready or the next race, which will be the Tata Steel Kolkata 25 km race on Dec.17 in India.

Also going for the race will be distance running legend Kenenisa Bekele. Kiplagat will headline the women’s field.

“I have recovered. My body didn’t respond well in Chicago and have had enough time to rest. I have started training again and hopefully, will be in perfect form ahead of the race in India,” she said.

Kiplagat is also a former world champion on multiple races having won at the 2009 IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Jordan and the 2010 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships and she is a former half marathon world record holder.

The women’s course record and Indian national 25km record is 1:27:31 set by Sudha Singh in 2015, a time which should be well within Kiplagat’s capabilities as she can boast of a personal best over the distance of 1:22:17, set during the Chicago Marathon last month.

“I want to run faster time. It will help in guiding me through the remainder of the season and the plans for 2018,” she said.

However, it will be the first race ever in India for Bekele, a three-time Olympic gold medalist and 18-time world champion on the track and cross country.

Bekele has his work cut with target being to challenge the world record of 1:11:18, set in 2012 by Kenya’ s Dennis Kimetto, the reigning world marathon record holder (2:02.57).

“After my first visit to India a few years ago, as an ambassador for the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, I have always been wanting to there,” Bekele said.

“The TSK25K seems to be the perfect opportunity: the route is historic, the weather expected to be cool and I am hoping to set a new course record, at the very least. I look forward to running in Kolkata and hope my presence motivates people to come and run.”

However, a runner of Bekele’ s caliber and pedigree will be setting his sights higher and no doubt aware that the Asian all-comers record is 1:12:46 while the Ethiopian national record and former 25km world record is 1:11:37, held by the equally legendary Haile Gebrselassie.

             

 

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