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.
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.
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
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.