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