NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Two-time world marathon champion Edna Kiplagat of Kenya says she
is keen to run fast time and improve on her best time in her
debut at the Berlin marathon on Sunday.
38-year-old Kenyan is not contemplating hanging up her spikes
even as she is pushed to the edge by the younger rivals
including race defending champion Gladys Cherono and Chicago
marathon champion Tirunesh Dibaba.
“After a few days of
recovery from the tough race I had in Boston, I feel better and
ready to begin my easy and steady charge to glory. Berlin is my
next stop. It is a fast course and hopefully, I will improve my
best time. I must thank you all for great support,” said
Kiplagat on Tuesday in Iten.
Kiplagat began her
World Marathon Majors (WMM) odyssey with victory in 2010 at the
New York marathon.
She has since been
to Tokyo, Chicago, Boston and London marathon where she set her
best time of 2:19:50.
If Kiplagat finishes
in Berlin, she will become the first-ever elite able-bodied
woman to finish all six WMM. If she finishes in top three
positions, she will also be the only woman to get to podium at
all six of the world majors.
“I have no injury
concerns. It has been a great pleasure for me in marathon
career. My story has been a success and it will be great
pleasure to run in Berlin against some of the international
elite runners,” she said.
She was second again
in the English capital in 2013 and then added a second straight
world title with gold in Moscow that same year. Her first win in
London came in third in 2014.
She went to Tokyo
and claimed silver and later in 2016 she was second at the
Chicago marathon. Last year, she won in Boston to be crowned the
Now the only piece
missing in her jigsaw is a medal from Berlin to clear all the
six WMM races.
“I have done five
major races in WMM. I started in New York in 2010 and it was
victory for me. It is my dream to run the six majors and the
only race I have not gone to is in Berlin and hopefully, I will
do it and win before I retire,” said Kiplagat.
If conditions are
favorable in Berlin, Dibaba has said she will attack the world
record, set by Britain’s Paula Radcliffe in 2002 with 2:15:25 in
London. But she must also be wary of the challenge Kiplagat and
Cherono pose to her quest.
“I want to retain my
title and I have done well in training. There are no injury
concerns and I look forward to a good race in Berlin,” said
Cherono. Berlin marks the start of Series 12 of WMM which will
finish a year from now.
In the men race,
Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge returns to defend his title
against the former world record holder Wilson Kipsang. Focus
will be on the two trying to break compatriot Dennis Kimetto’s
2:02.27 world record time set in 2014.
Kipchoge will be
attacking his personal best of 2:03:05 which is just eight
Others in the field
are Eritrea’s Zersenay Tadese, Kenyans Eliud Kiptanui and Amos
Kipruto, Ethiopian Abera Kuma and Japan’s Arata Fujiwara.
Kenyan Joyciline Jepkosgei to
make full marathon debut, eyes Chinese races
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
World half marathon record holder Joyciline
Jepkosgei says she will be ready for a full marathon debut,
probably in December.
Jepkosgei, who has
had injury trouble since her world half-marathon record of 64:51
in Valencia last October, believes she still has more to do to
return to her top performance and believes venturing into full
marathon is her next target.
“My coach is
preparing me for a marathon. He told me that I will go for
training and then he will see how my body is. It might be end of
this year or next year,” said the 25-year-old on Tuesday.
“China marathons are
good, though I have no particular race I have lined up now. But
I know it will be good to test myself there.”
Shanghai Marathon in
November might be too soon for the Kenyan star. However, there
is a possibility of her running at the Xiamen Marathon in
January if her management gets an invite from the organizers.
Jepkosgei was third
in 68:10 at last week’s Great North Run in Newcastle, England,
her third race this year. Injury concerns have limited the
Kenyan participation in international competition, but she
believes she is getting better.
In May, Jepkosgei
was second at the Manchester 10km run behind Ethiopia’s Tirunesh
Marathon silver medalist Brigit Kosgei is intensifying her
training ahead of her race in Chicago in October.
However, the Kenyan
has injury concerns after she pulled a hamstring problem in
Newcastle in the last stages of the 21km Great North Run.
“I will watch over
the injury before gauging myself for the Chicago Marathon. I
struggled with pain in my knees and hamstrings, which forced me
to ease in the last stages. But I am happy I did well in
Newcastle and hope it will help me in my plans for Chicago.”