Kenya coach says Dubai champ Chepng'etich can break marathon world record

Source: Xinhua| 2019-01-26 20:11:13|Editor: Lu Hui
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NAIROBI, Jan 26 (Xinhua) -- Kenya head coach Julius Kirwa says Dubai Marathon champion Ruth Chepng'etich has the potential to break the world record soon.

Speaking in Nairobi on Saturday, Kirwa warned that the 24-year-old, running her fourth marathon showed she has the potential and if well mentored, she will soon shutter Paula Radcliffe's world mark of 2:15:25, which has stood since 2003.

"Chepng'etich has showed she is a worthy opponent to any top runner. She offers the selectors a hard time as Kenya gears to name its team to the World Championships in Qatar," said Kirwa.

On Friday, Chepng'etich left the opposition in shreds at the Dubai Marathon where she not only broke the course record, but also set the third fastest time in the history.

Her time of 2:17:07 was fast enough to slice off two minutes and nine seconds from Ethiopia's Roza Dereje course record (2:19:17) set in the 2018.

It moves Chepng'etich from eighth to third on the world all-time list behind world record-holder Paula Radcliffe (2:15:25) and Mary Keitany (2:17:01).

"I have only heard of the Dubai Marathon but it's my first time in the city," said Chepng'etich upon return to Nairobi.

"I have no immediate plans, but I hope to rest and recover. After that I will decide, which race to compete in."

"The world record is beatable, but probably it will require more planning and strategy. However, with good preparations, it is doable," she added.

Last year, Chepng'etich had finished second in 2:22:59 behind compatriot Betsy Saina at Paris Marathon in April.

Then she was fifth at Copenhagen Half Marathon in 1:07:02 on Sept. 16 last year before staging her successful defense of the Istanbul Marathon title in a course record time of 2:18:35 on Nov 11 in the same year.

Dubai was her fourth marathon and despite the success, Chepng'etich has been training on her own in Ngong town, which is about 25 kilometers south-west of Kenya's capital Nairobi.

"I didn't have a coach. It was basically my friends from whom I learnt a lot on the art of running," she said. "I liked running, running and running. It came naturally to me. I trained because I loved running."

Chepng'etich made her marathon debut in Istanbul in 2017 where she set a new course record of 2:22:36 before improving the time to 2:19:35 last year to affirm her long distance prowess.