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January 17, 2019

Aiyebei ready to make history at next month’s Nagoya Marathon

 Valarie Jemeli Aiyabei
Valarie Jemeli Aiyabei
The 2016 Barcelona Marathon champion Valarie Jemeli Aiyabei has promised to break the jinx by winning the 2018 Nagoya International women’s Marathon set for this weekend in Japan.
The Sunday race will see Aiyabei, the 2015 Kass Marathon champion, try her luck in the race that has never been won by a Kenyan athlete since inception in 1980.
“This will be my first time to compete at Nagoya but I want to win the race that no any other Kenyan runner has won in the 38 years of history,” said Aiyabei.
The road queen, who won Valencia Marathon in 2016 with a course record of 2:24.48, is optimistic of winning the race as part of her 2018 resolution before embarking on other world marathons, hopefully the World Marathon Majors.
“I am ready for the race. I have been training very  hard to ensure I win my first international race this year. That will boost my morale ahead of other marathons across the world,” she said after defending her Maria Soti cross country title in Elgeyo Marakwet County.
However, she will have to deal with the Kenyan born turn Bahraini Eunice Kirwa, who is the defending champion. The 2016 Olympic Games marathon silver medalist Kirwa holds the course record of 2:22.08, which she set in 2015. Kirwa has also won the last three editions (2015, 2016 and 2017), to become the only runner in history to record a hat trick.
After finishing third at 2017 Berlin Marathon, Aiyabei has dominated local races.  Aiyabei trains alongside former world marathon record holder Wilson Kipsang, record holder Dennis Kimetto and Geoffrey Mutai among other top marathoners in the country.
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