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Kenya Saina eyes better show in full marathon after win in Japan 

By John Kwoba NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s Betsy Saina made a statement of intend Sunday by winning the Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon ahead of her quest to try and win her first full marathon in April.

Saina, who finished fifth in the 10,000m at the 2016 Rio Olympics, won in windy and rainy conditions clocking 1:09:17, taking 10 seconds off her personal best time, which she set in Boston in 2014. She had triumphed at the 2016 Great Scottish Run in 1:07:22 but that time was not ratified because the course was short.

With her win in Japan, Saina can now focus on winning her first marathon, a year since she turned to the road race circuit in New York.

“Snow, showers and wind didn’t stop me from racing,” said Saina on Monday. “Tough warriors today, but I am happy for the win. I have to rest and work out the remaining five weeks before my next race.”

Saina was instrumental against the harsh condition to excel and hopes it will push her to work had and win the Boston marathon.

Two-time world marathon champion Edna Kiplagat was a distant 12th in 1:13:56.

The two will be meeting in Boston for the third time in as many races. They first clashed at the New York marathon in November, where Saina failed to finish, in a race won by Shalane Flanagan with Mary Keitany second while Kiplagat was a distant fourth.

Kiplagat won in Boston last year in 2:21:52, the fourth fastest winning time in the history of the race.

After Boston, she made her fourth World Championships appearance and secured the silver medal. She rounded out her season with a fourth-place finish at the New York City Marathon.

“After racing all around the world, it was so special for me to run on Boston’s historic course and experience the Boston traditions with my family,” said Kiplagat. “I look forward to the challenge next April of once again racing against the world’s best athletes.”

             

 

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