Thursday, June 12, 2014

'Thirsty' Kiplagat targets gold in Scotland

PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO Florence Kiplagat (left) celebrates after winning the women's 10,000m finals during the Safaricom National Athletics Championship at the Nyayo Stadium on June 6, 2014.

PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO Florence Kiplagat (left) celebrates after winning the women's 10,000m finals during the Safaricom National Athletics Championship at the Nyayo Stadium on June 6, 2014.  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By AYUMBA AYODI
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It’s almost four years since the trail-blazing World Half Marathon record holder Florence Kiplagat donned the national colours.

But victory in women’s 10,000m race during the Safaricom National Championships at the Nyayo National Stadium last week reignited the hunger for more glory in the two times Berlin Marathon champion.

Kiplagat, who won the race in 32:30.7 beating the 2012 Africa Cross Country champion to Joyce Chepkirui to second place in 32:33.1, said she is ready to set the Commonwealth Games alight.

The two times reigning two times World Cross Country champion Emily Chebet finished third in 32:50.2 as the trio bagged tickets for the Commonwealth Games due July 23 to August 3 in Glasgow, Scotland.

“I last competed for Kenya at the 2010 World Half Marathon Championships where I won gold and that is long. Another piece of gold medal will be great,” said Kiplagat, who won the Berlin Marathon on her debut over the distance in 2011 before recapturing the title in 2013.

WORLD RECORD

The 27-year-old Kiplagat, who set a new World Half Marathon record with a new time of 1:05:12 at Barcelona in February, also explored the possibilities of improving her 10,000m personal best time of 30:11.53 set in 2009.

“I have been thinking about that and if that moment comes then I will go for it. I thank God and I appreciate what I have achieved so far,” said Kiplagat, who set a new 20 km World Record time of 61:56 minutes her way to the World Half Marathon record.

And Kiplagat, who holds the 2009 World Cross senior women’s 8km race title, is not relenting as she plans to refine further on her speed when she competes in the Ostrava 10km race on June 17. “I will continue running fast as so long as God allows it,” said Kiplagat.

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