Kenya's veteran runner Kiplagat targets Berlin Marathon title, fast time

Source: Xinhua| 2018-08-03 23:19:40|Editor: yan
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NAIROBI, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) -- Kenya's Edna Kiplagat has warned her critics her career is not over the cliff as she heads to Germany for the Berlin Marathon in September.

Kiplagat, who will be turning 39 later this year, has defied age and continued to deliver positive results at the top level and will be among the elite runners battling it out for the fast Berlin Marathon course title.

Though she has not alluded to chasing the world marathon record, the Boston silver medalist is keen to run fast time having been inhibited to improve her personal best by poor weather in Boston in April.

"After a few days of recovery from tough race in Boston I felt better. Now I am ready to begin my easy and steady rise thanks to you all for great support," Kiplagat said Friday in Iten.

The Kenyan will have to prove her fitness against a spirited field that has Ethiopian Olympic champion Tirunesh Dibaba, defending champion Gladys Cherono from Kenya, Yebrugal Melese and Aselefech Mergia.

Cherono has won Berlin Marathon twice, in 2015 and 2017, and her best of 2:19:25 was achieved in the first of those victories.

However, it is Kiplagat that is most experienced. She has won the world title twice (2011 and 2013) and taken silver in 2017.

In addition she has won the 2010 New York City Marathon, the London Marathon in 2014 and the 2017 Boston Marathon.

Now Kiplagat is targeting to become a Six Star Finisher at the 2018 Berlin Marathon this September.

The Kenyan will become the first female elite athlete to earn the famous Six Star Medal when she crosses the finish line in the German capital adding yet another achievement to a glittering marathon-running career.

Kiplagat, 38, began with victory in the 2010 New York City Marathon and followed that with second place at the London Marathon in April 2011.

She then clinched world gold in Daegu (South Korea) in 2011 and another second in London in 2012, where she set her personal best time of 2:19:50.

She was second again in the UK capital in 2013 and then added a second straight world title with gold in Moscow that same year. Kiplagat finally cracked the top step of London's podium in 2014 with victory.

Two more podiums (third in Tokyo and second at the Chicago Marathon) in 2016 continued a stunning string of World Marathon Majors performances, topped by a win in Boston in 2017.

Later that year her form carried her to second in the London World Championships, and she now has her sights on the podium in Berlin on Sept. 16.

"I hope to win. But It is a tough race and the fastest runner will sail through," she said.