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January 19, 2019

Eyes on the title

Edna Kiplagat during the 2017 Boston marathon /REUTERS
Edna Kiplagat during the 2017 Boston marathon /REUTERS

Two-time world marathon champion Edna Kiplagat is returning to New York Marathon for the fourth time hoping to bounce back with a win seven years after she conquered the American course.

Kiplagat won the 2010 edition before finishing ninth in 2013 and 10th in 2015. However, she is optimistic that she will perform well when she lines up again on November 5.

Kiplagat said she has laid down her training program in preparation for the duel in which defending champion Mary Keitany will be chasing a fourth title.

“I have been preparing well since my last race and I can say that I am enjoying it. At the moment everything is okey in terms of fitness,” said Kiplagat. “Consistency in training is very crucial and I will only polish the remaining part of my training in order to run well in New York.”

She predicted a tough race owing to the presence of compatriot Keitany.

“Competition is high but thank God I have been running with Keitany. She is competitive. I have no target now but it is my prayer that training goes on well hoping that I will be on the podium come the day,” Kiplagat said.

Kiplagat and Keitany have competed in different races with the duo getting victories over each other.

In 2010, Kiplagat defeated Keitany, who was making her New York debut, to third. After winning the 2017 Boston marathon at the age of 37, Kiplagat has proved that athletics career development needs patience on all the transitional stages.

She started competing while at school, representing Kenya at the 1996 and 1998 World Junior Championships getting silver and bronze in the 3000m respectively.

She then competed at the world cross country championships before shifting to half marathon and eventually full marathon where she has become a household name.

At the 2011 IAAF World Championships in Daegu, Kiplagat anchored Team Kenya to a podium sweep with Priscah Jeptoo and Sharon Cherop to become the first time any nation had taken a marathon clean sweep at a global championship.

At the Moscow worlds, she became the first woman to retain the marathon world title.

This year she placed second at the IAAF World Championships in London where she was going for her third title.

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