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World record holder Kenyan Joyciline
Jepkosgei eyes RAK half marathon title   

By John Kwoba NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s Joyciline Jepkosgei will be taking no prisoners as she seeks to improve on her world record time when she competes at the RAK Half Marathon and World Half Marathon.

The Kenyan confirmed on Friday that she will have no choice but to miss out on the Commonwealth Games set for Gold Coast, Australia (April 4-15) as she has opted to take part in the World Half Marathon, which will be staged in Valencia (April 24).

“The Commonwealth Games are important to Kenyans, but I will skip it for the World Half Marathon. It is good for my progression as a rod racer,” she said.

Jepkosgei, 24, speaking in Nairobi after competing at the Kenya Defense Forces Championships, said she is eyeing to regain the fitness that saw her break the world half marathon record twice in span of six months last year in Prague and Valencia.

“I over trained last year and am careful in selecting, which races to compete in as I plan to take part in the World Half Marathon in Valencia in March,”  she said in Nairobi.

However, she will be going to United Arab Emirates for the RAK Half Marathon set for Feb. 9.

Last year, Jepkosgei had to endure some difficulty in competition in Dubai where she picked up a minor soft tissue injury in her foot after winning the RAK Half Marathon.  

She still ran the Kenyan cross-country national championships a week later and finished in position 17th.

However, on Friday she was forced to watch as compatriot Helen Obiri sprinted to the finish line leaving her gasping for breath. Obiri won in 33 minutes and 32.6 seconds with Jepkosgei taking second spot in 33:38.4.

“It was never going to happen. We were side by side in the final lap and I tried to charge in the last four kilometers but Obiri kept on pushing. She had a good sprint and utilized it well in the last lap,” said Jepkosgei.

But despite the loss, Jepkosgei took a lot of positives from it saying she used it as warm up ahead of the RAK Half Marathon on Feb. 9 and World Half Marathon in Valencia, Span on March 24.



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