NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Winning the London marathon and making it to the
Kenya team for the World Championships in August is more inspiring
to Chicago marathon champion Florence Kiplagat than setting another
half marathon record.
Kiplagat, who turns 30 in a week’s time, has come close to making
the Kenya marathon team twice, being named on the reserve lists. But
with the London World Championships the next big thing up her
sleeve, the Barcelona half marathon champion is keen to end this
jinx in August.
“I was unlucky last year missing out to Rio Olympics despite doing
well at the London marathon. It is good they are making it a trial
race again this time round and hopefully, I will win there and focus
on the World Championships,” she said Tuesday from Eldoret.
There was no world record for Kiplagat despite winning the Barcelona
half marathon for the fourth season in succession last week in 68:15
ahead of Ethiopia’ s Kuma Dibaba (69:49) and Portugal’s Jessica
“Records are there to be broken. I’m now happy for her (Kenyan Peres
Jepchirchir) and we’ll try to regain the record in the future,” said
Kiplagat on losing her record to Jepchirchir on Friday.
Leonard Langat won the men’s race in 60:52 from Meshak Koech (60:54)
and Joel Kimurer (60:59) while Abel Kirui rounded out the all-Kenyan
top four in 61:30.
Kiplagat’s first completed marathon was at Berlin in 2011, which was
a sensational success. After passing halfway in 1:10:11 she ran a
negative split to win in 2:19:44.
In 2010, April in Boston, she ran 1:11:42 at 21.1km and 1:42:59 at
30km, but did not finish. She returned to Berlin in 2013 and won
again. In February 2014 at Barcelona Kiplagat set a half marathon
world record of 1:05:12 which she lowered to 1:05:09 in 2015.
In 2015 she won the Chicago marathon and defended that title in
October last year. However, in April, she cruised to third spot at
the London marathon, which was not good enough to secure her a place
in the Kenya team to the Rio Olympics.
But her strong run in Barcelona last week to try and improve on her
best half marathon record was a flop as she finished almost three
minutes off her previous mark.
Now Kiplagat has confirmed she might try and regain her world half
marathon record later but for now her focus is to recover and up her
game at the London marathon hoping to be third time lucky and claim
Kenya is using the event as a trial for the London World
Championships and Kiplagat is hopeful she will improve on her third
place finish last year against a spirited challenge from compatriot
Mary Keitany, winner in New York, Jemimah Sumgong the Olympic and
London marathon defending champion, Tokyo marathon champion and 2015
world silver medallist Helah Kiprop and the Olympic 5,000m champion
Vivian Cheruiyot, who will make her marathon debut at the age of 33.
“It is not about who will be running in alongside me, it is about
what strength I have to win the race. I always race against top
athletes and it is the inner strength to go the extra mile that
counts,” she said.