Cheromei says Kenya will reclaim women's marathon gold at World C'ships

Source: Xinhua| 2019-05-15 23:44:04|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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NAIROBI, May 15 (Xinhua) -- Marathon head coach Joseph Cheromei is confident Kenya will recapture the marathon women's gold medal at this year's World championships, in Doha, Qatar from Sept. 27 to Oct. 5.

Kenya-born Rose Chelimo outwitted Edna Kiplagat to deny her third gold in the 42km distance.

But Cheromei says Kenya decision to name the team early will help in the preparations and allow the athletes to focus on the race, strategies and reclaim the title.

Veteran Kiplagat, Visiline Jepkesho, Sally Chepyego and Ruth Jepngetich will be flying the Kenyan team flag in the championships in Doha.

"I have real confidence in the named team. One of them will win the gold, though I cannot tell who it will be. It is a strong team and when we kick off our training we will get to polish the finer details and be ready for the championships," added Cheromei.

Men's world marathon champion Geoffrey Kirui will be in the front to defend his title alongside Berlin Marathon runner up Amos Kipruto, two- time Paris Marathon champion Paul Lonyangata, Laban Korir, and Ernest Ngeno.

The nine athletes named in the Kenya team, have been asked to forfeit any other race from now to October in order to focus on the World Championships.

The women marathon will be held on the first day of the competition on Sept. 27, while the men's race is slated for Oct. 5. Both races will be held at midnight owing to the hot and humid Doha climate.

To prepare for it, coach Cheromei has hinted at Kenya team going to sea level areas in Kisumu or Mombasa for their training.

"We will decide later but we will have a time to train at the sea level. But we have our camp in Eldoret for now," he said.

"It will be the first time that a marathon race is being held at midnight in a World Championship because of the weather. We will therefore have to adapt accordingly by training under similar conditions."

The team however, will be allowed to race one half marathon and one 10km road race to gauge their preparedness in the course of their training.

Kiplagat, 40, won back-to-back world titles in 2011 and 2013. She finished fifth in 2015 and returned to the podium in 2017, taking the silver medal in London.

The 2:19:50 runner says she hopes a win in Doha will help her bid to make the team to the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020.

"Winning a third world title will certainly put me up there and boost my chance to make the Olympic team. I hope the training will go on well," said Kiplagat.

Chepngetich won in Istanbul last year in 2:18:35 and then took the Dubai Marathon title earlier this year in 2:17:08, moving to third on the world all-time list.

Chepyego earned the bronze medal at the 2014 World Half Marathon Championships and set a marathon bets time of 2:23:15 last year.

For Jepkesho, a former winner in Paris and Rotterdam, she has a personal best time of 2:21:37.