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Joyciline Jepkosgei to compete in Gifu half marathon in Japan

By John Kwoba NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Newly crowned world record holder Joyciline Jepkosgei of Kenya will be returning to action at the Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon in Japan, an IAAF Gold Label Road Race, on April 23.

The 23-year-old Jepkosgei produced one of the most stunning international breakout performances in recent years when she broke four world records at the Prague Half Marathon on April 1.

The Kenyan clocked 1:04:52 to shatter the previous mark by 14 seconds after also taking down world records for 10km, 15km and 20km en route to her triumph.

All the four records are yet to be ratified by the IAAF.

"I feel am in top shape and adding another race will do me no harm.

"But I am not focusing on breaking the world half marathon record again.

"All I want is to win and post fast time," she said Friday in Eldoret.

Jepkosgei will be the focus of attention in the central Japanese city of Gifu, in a race that will also feature Ethiopian Belaynesh Oljira, Kenyan Philes Ongori and Mimi Belete of Bahrain.

Oljira, who boasts a 1:07:27 lifetime best, returns to action after her eighth place finish at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships Kampala 2017 on March 26.

Ongori, the runner-up at the World Half Marathon Championships in 2009, has a 1:07:38 career best, while Belete clocked her personal best of 1:09:14 in February.

Leading the men’s field will be Kenyans Bernard Kipyego and Kenneth Keter. Kipyego, 30, a two-time winner at the Amsterdam Marathon, has a 59:10 half marathon lifetime best.

Keter, 20, ran his 59:48 personal best last year, and most recently finished fourth in the Paris Half Marathon on 5 March where he clocked 1:01:50.

He was also fourth in this race in 2016.

The women’s course record of 1:08:55 was set last year by two-time winner Eunice Kirwa of Kenya. The men’s course record of 1:00:02 was set by Kenyan Bedan Karoki in 2014.
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UPDATE:

Kenya former world marathon record holder Paul Tergat seeks to improve sports

By Ben Ochieng NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Former world marathon record holder Paul Tergat recently launched his bid to lead the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) after several years of playing the cards to his chest regarding his ambition.

Kenyans are anticipating a new dawn in the country’s sports during the impending elections scheduled for May 5 following hue and cry over the Rio Olympics among other issues that dogged the leadership of the current incumbent, Kipchoge Keino.

The outdated constitution, which was skewed towards the incumbents during elections, also contributed immensely to NOCK officials’ date with destiny.

However, most pundits are asking what might be awaiting Tergat should he ascend to the helm of the organization.

"Should Tergat get the seat, he will be starting at a vintage point considering his iconic status and the animosity among Kenyans towards the officials," former Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) Assistant Treasurer Moses Mbuthia told Xinhua on Thursday.

Most sports organizations in Kenya are run by ‘cartels’ for selfish interests and benefit individuals at the expense of sportsmen and women.

If one does not toe the line, the doors remain shut until the day you succumb to their whims.

"Tergat is the best thing to have happened to Kenyan sports in a long time because he will not want to soil his painstakingly crafted image.

"However, he will have to immediately rein in any official who at the first instance starts to show any signs of misdemeanor like misusing funds," Mbuthia said.

The five-time World Cross Country who is also a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) entered the race in pole position considering the fact that he was endorsed by 10 out of the 20 affiliates that cast a vote during elections.

During the launch of his election bid, Tergat who is also NOCK Council Member, named his line-up, an act that many consider can be his Waterloo especially if those who missed slots consider left out.

"Tergat should have played his cards close to his chest and keep people guessing.

"That way, he would have kept people glued towards his presidential ambitions," noted John Ogola, an executive member of the Kenya Weightlifting Federation.

The sitting president, Kipchoge Keino, has been a celebrity in the athletics world who during his heyday in the 1960s brought the country fame on the track, and who is now seen to have overstayed his tenure during the 18 years he has steered the association.

"Many people feel that time has now come for the older generation to give way to younger leaders especially during changed circumstances when everyone talks of technological innovation," Mbuthia said.

Whether Tergat will breathe a new lease of life in Kenyan sports depends on how firmly he will be able to guard his reputation and not to let any member of the committee soil his image the same way the outgoing team did to Keino.

Remember Keino was also once there and was awash with the same, if not more, accolades that Keino was accorded.

If Tergat drops his guard and lets the executive run amok, he will find himself in the same predicament as Keino.
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SEE ALSO:

Paul Tergat bid for Kenya national Olympic Committee chairman

Champion Jemima Sumgong testing 'Positive' to banned Drugs

             

 

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