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Kenyan Kiplagat back from injury in time for Kolkata 25K

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Former world half-marathon champion Florence Kiplagat of Kenya will return to India, hoping to dominate the Kolkata 25km road race on Dec. 16.

Kiplagat, who suffered an ankle injury that kept her out of competition for one year, returned last month after competing at the Chicago Marathon, where she finished fourth.

However, she believes she has shaken off the rust and is back to her best form for the Kolkata 25km road race. “It has been a struggle, but I have gotten better since returning to competition.

“My target is to win the race and see how fast I can run. As usual I will not be looking at those who will be at the race but at my own strength and fitness because I always enter the race believing I am the best,” she said on Thursday from Eldoret.

Kiplagat will be up against Ethiopia’s Degitu Azimeraw, who will be putting her title on the line. Azimeraw last year set a surprise course record of 1:26:01 in the only IAAF Label race in the 25km distance.

Kiplagat says she is keen to rekindle her career in the marathon after missing a year of action and will make up her mind on which race to compete in in April. “I know there is the World Championships, but what is important for me is to return to the winner’s podium and set up a few wins before thinking of the global competition. Kenya has many runners and if I will be called upon, then we will discuss it then,” she added.

Kiplagat did not race for a year before finishing fourth at this year’s Chicago Marathon last month. This will be her first trip to Kolkata but it is far from Kiplagat’s first time on Indian soil as she is a two-time former winner of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon.

In the men’s race, another Kenyan Eric Kiptanui will also be returning to action after missing three months of training due to an ankle injury. The Kenyan was to compete in Delhi in October and Copenhagen in September, but had to shelve those plans.

“It was a blow to my preparations because I had hoped to continue my big performance,” said Kiptanui. “I have taken time out to treat the injury and it has responded well. Now it has healed and I am ready to pick up from where I left off,” he added.



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