NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
World Half Marathon record holder Joyceline
Jepkosgei has warned she is back to her optimum form that saw
her shutter the world mark in 2017.
With just under two
weeks before the Kenyan star launches her marathon debut show in
Honolulu in the U.S. on Dec. 9, Jepkosgei has sounded the alarm
when she won the Kenya Defense Forces cross country title in
Nairobi on Friday.
It was Jepkosgei’s
fourth race this year. “I was using this race for speed work. It
is time for my bid switch from half marathon to full marathon
next month,” said Jepkosgei.
“I just want to
finish and feel the pain of the marathon. I’m told the
conditions in Honolulu will be warm, which is good.”
Jepkosgei says she
hopes to get a surprise birthday present in Honolulu by winning
the race. Her birthday is on Dec. 8.
however said she is not keen to make the Kenya team to the World
Championships too soon.
She however, harbors
the dream of representing the country and the 2020 Olympics in
Japan look an ideal stage for her big race.
“First is to see how
the body will respond on my first marathon. Then irrespective of
the results, I will build on it with more experience and
hopefully be ready for the Olympics in 2020,” she added.
Last month Jepkosgei
won another half marathon in Eldoret. Jepkosgei finished third
in a time of 68:10 at this year’s Great North Run in Newcastle,
however, have limited the Kenyan’s participation in
international competition, but she believes she is getting
In May, Jepkosgei
finished second at the Manchester 10km run behind Ethiopia’s
Tirunesh Dibaba. But her win two weeks to Honolulu Marathon
debut has instilled an invincible feeling in the Kenyan.
conditions here were hot and humid, similar to what I expect in
Honolulu. The course was good. I trained well for this race and
I was confident of winning the title ahead of the race. It is
always important to train hard and that way, you fear nobody,
whoever they are, on the race day,” she added.
and husband Nicholas Koech says he is certain the 24-year-old
will weather the storm and write history, like many before her,
to win the marathon on her debut.
“I want her to have
an impact when she transits to the marathon,” he said.
Kirwa leads Kenyan quest at
Italy’s Florence Marathon, eyes national team call
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s Gilbert Kipruto Kirwa returns to Italy
hopeful to improve on his third place finish and clinch gold at
Florence Marathon on Sunday.
The 25-year-old has
not raced since he clinched the bronze medal in Florence last
year after he sustained an ankle injury.
However, he returns
feeling strong as he intends to recoup the missed opportunities
hoping he will prove his mantle and secure a slot in the Kenya
team to the World Championships next year in Qatar.
“I have recovered
and ready for the assault of the Florence course,” Kirwa said on
Thursday before departing to Italy.
“It is about
preparations and I have done my part and though there are some
top names lined up, I believe the training has been good to
withstand any challenge.” Kirwa was the third-place finisher in
the men’s race last year.
The Kenyan clocked
his personal best of 2:06:14 in Frankfurt back in 2009 but ran
2:07:44 as recently as 2015 in finishing fifth at the Paris
marathon. Later he was second at the Toronto Waterfall marathon
in Canada clocking 2:09:01.
But that will come
under focus when he lines up at the Florence marathon course on
Kirwa will be up
against China’s Xiamen marathon champion Dejene Debela and Bonsa
Dida from Ethiopia.
After setting a
personal best time of 2:07:10 in Eindhoven in 2017, Debela has
won two marathons in China this year, clocking 2:11:22 in Xiamen
and 2:12:08 in Beijing.
“I hope to run well
in Florence and see if I can defend my title in Xiamen next
year. I believe I will have recovered, but it will be dependent
on the performance in Italy,” he said.
Dida also set his
personal best time last year, running 2:10:16 when winning in
Madrid, and he finished second in Hong Kong in January earlier
this year in 2:13:44.
Ahmed Nasef, who won
the Italian marathon title in 2016 and 2017, is also in the
field, while Kenya’s Abraham Kiplagat and Bahrain’s 2016 Asian
U20 cross-country champion Abdi Ali Gelelchu will be making
their marathon debuts.
“I have no idea what
to expect. I have been training hard but this is a new step up
for me and I want to feel the marathon and see how the body will
respond. Then I will know where I need to improve and what else
is required,” said Kiplagat.
10,000m champion Lonah Chemtai Salpeter will be in the spotlight
when she runs in Florence against former compatriot Kenya’s
Caroline Jepchirchir Chepkwony.
ditched her Kenyan passport in 2016 when she got married in
Israel and will be up to challenge for the title.
who set her marathon best of 2:27:37 in Lubljana in 2013 and
Ethiopia’s Ayele Gebaynesh, who has a career best of 2:26:54 and
Sarah Jebet (2:27:07) will be the athletes to beat.
Chemtai Salpeter is
aiming at improving the course record of 2:28:15 set in 2002 by
She could even
challenge the European-leading time of 2:25:25 set by European
champion Volha Mazuronak.
Kenya-turned Israeli Chemtai
leads elite charges at Florence Marathon
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
European 10,000m champion Lonah Chemtai Salpeter
of Israel will compete in her first marathon on Sunday in
Kenyan born-turned Israeli, has been pitching camp in the
country in the final build up to her first marathon in 2018 and
feels she has done enough to challenge the course record, which
has stood for over a decade registered by Slovenia’s Helena
Javornik at 2:28:15 in 2002.
“After a short
recovery period after the European championships in August, I
started my build up towards the marathon. I had three good weeks
of altitude training in Font Romeu (France) and Iten (Kenya),”
said Chemtai on Friday.
Born in West Pokot,
Kenya, the same village as legend distance runner Tegla Loroupe,
Chemtai first went to Israel in 2008, working as a nanny at
Kenya’s embassy in Tel Aviv.
While jogging in Tel
Aviv, she was noticed by athletics coach Moti Mizrahi, who
suggested she train professionally. Later she met Israel coach
Dan Salpeter, and the two were eventually married.
In 2016 she received
Israeli citizenship and represented her adopted country at the
Rio Olympic Games and later the London World Championships in
She however did not
finish the marathon in Rio but held on to finish in position 41
at the London World Championships. Her personal best time stands
at 2:40:16 from the 2016 Berlin Marathon.
however, changed in August when she won Israel’s first gold
medal in athletics at the European Championships. Israel paid
her some 1.12 million shillings (11,000 U.S. dollars) for her
“Since winning the
European title I’m now recognized by many people. Recently at
Tel Aviv Airport I bought a travel adapter and the shop owner
recognized me. He was happy at my European victory, he gave me
the adapter as a gift, for free,” she said.
“In the last two
years, I have run with a much more positive attitude and this, I
believe, has earned me great rewards.”
Despite her slow
time in marathon, Chemtai has improved a great deal and will be
the athlete to beat in the Florence Marathon on Sunday.
She ranked best from
Europe at the World Half marathon in Valencia in March,
finishing in position 12 clocking 68:58.
improved that mark to 67:55 at the Lisbon Half Marathon last
month. Chemtai slashed the course record, set by Kenyan Mary
Keitany in Lisbon in 2011 by two second.
“I started my high
altitude training in France, but traveled to Iten, Kenya to
begin preparing for the marathon. My objective is to win the
Florence Marathon,” she said.
The course record in
Florence set by Slovenian Helena Javornik in 2002 of two hours,
28 minutes and 15 seconds might be an incitement for Chemtai to
Other Europeans in
the race include Belorussian Volha Mazuronak (2:25:25), Italians
Anna Incerti, Vincenza Sicari and Giovanna Volpato.
Half marathon held
in Central China’s Wuhan
WUHAN China (Xinhua) --
A half marathon competition, which featured 4,900
runners from China and abroad, was held in China’s Optics Valley
The home athletes
took all the podiums of ladies competition, as Li Chunhua
clocked on one hour 25 minutes and 12 seconds to win the gold.
Xiong Binbin finished second in 1:28:26, followed by Tang Siqin
Eyanae Paul of
Kenya, who beat Yu Tong and Wang Kangmao, both from China,
claimed the men’s title in 1:09:56. Yu and Wang ranked second
and third respectively with 1:10:18 and 1:12:46.
Eyanae Paul said
that it was the first time he has come to Wuhan and he could
still feel the vitality of the city from the modern buildings
and busy commercial districts. He said he hopes to come back to
Wuhan for other races.