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Ankle injury rules out Chemutai from Valencia Half Marathon

By John Kwoba NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s Fancy Chemutai has confirmed she will not be fit to compete at the Valencia Half marathon in Spain on Oct. 28.

Speaking from Eldoret, Chemutai said an ankle injury she sustained in February on her way to winning the Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) Half Marathon in United Arab Emirates (UAE), is healed but her fitness is still under 50 per cent.

“I cannot run at the top level,” she said on Friday. “I still need a month to get back to top form and then we will see which race to take part in. My management had entered me in the Valencia Half marathon, but I have to say I will not be traveling.”

Chemutai failed to honor Kenya team call to the World Half Marathon in March over the injury and has remained out of competition since.

“I have missed my program because the injury delayed to heal,” she added. “But I have started training and can run about 10km. But soon I will be at my peak form again and I want to go back to Valencia in 2019 and try to break the world record.”

Indeed compatriot Joyciline Jepkosgei took one second off her own world record, which she had set in Prague, the Czech Republic in April 2017, to win the in Valencia clocking 64:51. In UAE, Chemutai, 23, clocked 64.52 to miss the record by one second.

“The injury has put a big challenge in my path and I have to overcome it. I am returning to full training and still hungry to win more titles,” she added.

In her absence in Valencia, Kenya team will be led by Mary Wacera, who is also returning from injury together with Lucy Cheruiyot while Dorcas Tuitoek will be making her debut in the distance. Ethiopia’s challenge will come from Gelete Burka.

In the men’s category, defending champion Kenyan-born Abraham Cheroben of Bahrain will battle it out with other 30 elite athletes, with at least 14 having run in less than an hour. Cheroben is aiming to retain the crown he won last year in 59:11.

Among the elite field is a host of Kenyans led by two times Family Bank Half Marathon champion Jorum Okombo Lumbasi (58:48), Solomon Kirwa Yego (58:44), Mangata Ndiwa (59:09), Abraham Kiptum (59:09) and Josphat Boit (59:19) the pace maker, who guided Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge to break the world marathon record in Berlin.

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