World champion Edna Kiplagat on Friday praised the Kenya marathon camp in Iten.
“I must say we have been lucky this year to have a marathon camp for the first time ever in readiness for a championship,” said Kiplagat as she prepared to leave for the London Olympic Games last night.
Kiplagat’s team mates – London Marathon champion Mary Keitany and World Championships marathon silver medallist Priscah Jeptoo – will join her in London when the next batch of Team Kenya athletes departs on Monday.
“We have been able to bond well, work out team strategies and discuss the challenges we might face – including a review of our opponents’ performances – with our coaches and physiotherapist,” said the 32-year-old runner.
Kiplagat led Priscah Jeptoo and Sharon Cherop to a sweep of the podium places in Daegu Worlds, where Kenya became the first nation to win both the men’s and women’s marathon titles at a single championships.
Gilbert Koech, Kiplagat’s coach and husband, said the athlete’s transition since winning the World title in the South Korean city has been smooth and predicted a repeat of the feat.
Kiplagat, 32, began the 2012 season in style, finishing third at the Kenyan Cross Country Championships and chalking a personal best two hours, 19 minutes and 50 seconds while second to Keitany in the London Marathon. Jeptoo was third in a PB 2:20:14. She also comfortably won the New York Mini 10km in June.
Keitany did not only did retain her London Marathon title but also broke Catherine Ndereba’s national record by 10 seconds in 2:18:37 as she became the third fastest woman after Paula Radcliffe (2:15:25) and Liliya Shobukhova (2:18:20). The Briton and Russian will also be London, as will Ethiopian trio of Tiki Gelana, Aselefech Mergia and Mare Dibaba.
The women’s marathon is due August 5 with Kenya’s best performance being Ndereba’s silver medals at 2004 Athens and 2008 Beijing. Joyce Chepchumba claimed the 2000 Sydney Games bronze.