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.”
instrumental against the harsh condition to excel and hopes it
will push her to work had and win the Boston marathon.
marathon champion Edna Kiplagat was a distant 12th in
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.”