Edna Kiplagat hails Kipsang' for brilliant show

An elated Kipsang crossses the finish line. PHOTO|AFP

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While congratulating the Olympics bronze medallist for setting a new world record of 2:03:23, Kiplagat said women can also do it if they work a little harder.

Two-time world marathon champion Edna Kiplagat has hailed Wilson Kipsang’s brilliant show in Berlin, saying it was a challenge to women athletes to emulate his performance.

While congratulating the Olympics bronze medallist for setting a new world record of 2:03:23, Kiplagat said women can also do it if they work a little harder.

“Kipsang showed just how fast he has matured and most importantly, he believed in himself. We are all celebrating here in Iten,” said Kiplagat. “He was focused right from his training in Iten and finished the job well in Berlin.”

“I have seen good performances in half Marathon and 25km, we now need to carry that form to full 42km races,” said Kiplagat, who retained her world title in Moscow last month.

Mary Keitany set a new Half Marathon record in 2011, clocking 1:05:50 and held the fastest time last year of 1:06:49 both from Ras al-Khaimah, in Dubai. In February, Lucy Kabuu won the 2013 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon with personal best of 1:06:09, just 19 seconds off Keitany’s world record. Kabuu would run the third fastest time over 25km on her victory at the BIG 25 Berlin in May, crossing the line in 1:21:37.

Two-time world champion Catherine Ndereba is the last Kenyan to hold the women’s marathon world record in 2001 with her victory in Chicago in 2:18:47. That was after Tegla Loroupe broke the record in 1998 Rotterdam in   2:20:47 before bettering it at Berlin in 1999 in 2:20:43. Briton Paula Radcliffe broke Ndereba’s record at the 2002 Chicago in 2:17:18 before improving it in 2003 London in 2:15:25.

Kiplagat said Kenyan men can still improve on the record in the next one year at Berlin or London and singled out Kipchoge as a person who can easily go for the world record saying he is full of potential. “Kipchoge has always been strong since his days on track and he is a guy for the world record,” said Kiplagat. “I told him he is destined for places when he finished second at Rock n Roll Half Marathon.”

However, marathon coach Abraham Kiplimo, who prepared the Moscow team, hailed Kipsang and Kipchoge for a splendid show and team work but hastened that the record could take another two years to be broken. “It’s not easy to achieve that in the next one year,” said Kiplimo.

In Eldoret, there were wild celebrations after Kipsang crossed the finishing line Berlin. Two-time Boston marathon champion Moses Tanui and veteran marathon coach David letting led fans in celebrations in the town. In an earlier inteview, Tanui had predicted that Kipsang would break the world record.

“I knew he would break it. We spoke on phone and from his confidence, I had a strong belief that nothing would stop him from smashing the world record,” said Tanui.

“He has done Kenya proud. Our runners are experienced and one day a Kenyan will run marathon in under two hours. Letting, who guided Kipsang to bronze at the 2012 London Olympics, was proud of his athlete. “I studied his moves and kept on looking at my watch, soon the finish line was visible. He was very strong,” said Letting.


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