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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kenyan Kamworor eyes fast time in
World Half Marathon in Valencia   

NAROBI, (Xinhua) -- Double World half Marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor of Kenya on Wednesday warned his colleagues he intends to run a fast time at this year’s event, but failed short to confirm if he will attack the world record.

Kamworor, 25, is eying to be third time lucky to win the World Half Marathon after claiming wins in Copenhagen (Denmark) and Cardiff (Wales) respectively. This year’s World Half Marathon will be held in Valencia, Spain on March 24.

However, he said he is inspired by the strong team that Kenya named for the championships, which include 2016 runners-up Bedan Karoki, Family Bank Half Marathon champion Joram Okombo, as well as Leonard Barsoton and Barselius Kipyego.

“I want to run fast time. My body is in good form and I have to polish a few areas prior to the championships. I have two months to do that and I believe it will be in optimum position in the week to the Valencia championships,” Kamworor said in Nairobi.

The two-time World Cross Country champion said he has confidence in the team selected because he has run against them before and they will have no challenge in bonding and working together as a team.

“We always enter this competition as a team. But like any marathon event, we always come up with a strategy that we have to stick to. But ultimately after halfway mark, each athlete decides when to break off and keep his pace,” he said.

World half marathon record holder Joyciline Jepkosgei will lead Kenya’s assault in the women’s race together with Mary Wacera, who won silver in 2016 Copenhagen and bronze in 2016 Cardiff, Fancy Chemutai, second behind Jepkosgei in Valencia Half marathon, Istanbul Half Marathon champion Ruth Chepng’etich and Pauline Kaveke.

The five will be out to ape 2014 winners in Glasgow, Scotland of Peres Jepchirchir and silver medallist Cynthia Jerotich, who didn’t make the team.

Jepkosgei broke the world half marathon twice last year in Prague (1:04:52) and Valencia (1:04:51). She returns in Valencia on a course where she broke the world half marathon record in October.

The team will pitch camp in Kaptagat starting March 10 two weeks prior to the championships in Valencia Spain on March 24.

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