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Kenya women’s team can win WHM
in world record time, says Loroupe

NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- Legendary Kenyan runner Tegla Loroupe believes the strong Kenyan women’s team heading to the World Half Marathon is capable of running a world record time in Valencia on March 24.

Loroupe, a road-running pioneer in the 1990s is a former world marathon record-holder and has won the World Half Marathon three times.

“When you look at the Kenyan team, it is very strong. The best we can talk of now. We have the three fastest women in the lineup along with a world record holder. They can push each other,” she said.

Word record holder Joyciline Jepkosgei heads the Kenyan women’s team. Jepkosgei was one of the finds of the 2017 season, setting world records in the 10km, 15km and 20km events en route to her 1:04:52 world half marathon record in Prague.

Later in the year she took one second off that mark when she won in Valencia in a world record time of 1:04:51.

Mary Wacera the silver medalist in 2014 and bronze medalist in 2016, will be vying for her third successive podium finish.

Fancy Chemutai and Ruth Chepngetich, both of whom made big breakthroughs last year, are also on the team, along with Japan-based Pauline Kaveke.

“I opened the road for them, like a trail blazer,” said Loroupe. The petite Kenyan great, will forever be remembered as a giant in distance running.

“I was proud to create history. Victory in the World Half marathon opened many doors; I was invited to many top meets which helped me financially support many kids, including my family,” she said.

In 1998 Loroupe committed to a heavy racing schedule, which included three marathons and six half marathons across the year. Yet the intense competitive workload seemed to bring the best out of her.

In 1999 Loroupe was in the best form of her career. In August she set a national 10,000m record to take bronze at the IAAF World Championships in Seville before clipping four seconds off her world marathon record with a 2:20:43 performance in Berlin.

“I was tired but after years of running since a young age, it was nothing hard; I loved what I did,” she explains. “I never do anything if someone forces me to do something. I do it because of love - it produces a strong healing energy.”


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