Champion Kiplagat aims at London marathon to secure place in Kenya squad
Nairobi, Feb 14 (IANS) Winning the London marathon and making it to Kenya’s national team for the World Championships in August is more of an inspiration for Chicago marathon champion Florence Kiplagat than setting another half marathon record.
Kiplagat has come close to making the Kenya marathon team twice, being named on the reserve lists, reports Xinhua news agency.
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,” Kiplagat said on 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 Augusto (70:36).
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 the victory.
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, Jemimah Sumgong, Helah Kiprop and Vivian Cheruiyot.
“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.