Twice in as many attempts in 2014, World Half-Marathon record holder Florence Kiplagat let the title slip through her fingers with the finish line in sight, owing to her poor final kick.
Your are here » Home » Athletics FLORENCE EYES LONDON GLORY: Kiplagat plans new personal best time in marathon Chris Musumba Updated Wednesday, April 22nd 2015 at 00:00 GMT +3 0 inShare Kenya’s Edna Kiplagat runs with compatriot Florence Kiplagat as they compete in the women’s elite class runners during the London Marathon Twice in as many attempts in 2014, World Half-Marathon record holder Florence Kiplagat let the title slip through her fingers with the finish line in sight, owing to her poor final kick.
In last year’s London Marathon, she had planned well for the assault on the title, but a poor finishing sprint saw her namesake Edna Kiplagat edge her out.
The same scenario played out in Glasgow, Scotland, four months later when a strong sprint from Joyce Chepkirui ended her quest for the 10,000m gold medal at the Commonwealth Games.
The two defeats notwithstanding, Kiplagat boarded the plane for London on Monday night more determined than ever to discover a chink in the armour of a stronger elite line-up, which she can exploit on Sunday.
“My target is to run a personal best time. It will be my seventh marathon race and although I have learnt fast, I still can’t see myself as the athlete to watch.
“The stronger field on parade will spur us to go faster. It will be to my advantage as I intend to push the pace and hopefully open up the race early. There are stronger athletes in the pack including champion Edna (Kiplagat), Mary Keitany (winner New York) and Priscah Jeptoo.
“But it will be about how I run. My focus is fully on the London race. I have done my training well and it is all finished. Now I will let the legs carry me through,” said Kiplagat.
The 28-year-old athlete holds the half-marathon world record of 1:05:09, but has tasted defeat in some races she should have won, including last year’s London Marathon.
“It has made me a stronger athlete. Now I know how to plan my splits and sprints. You will see it on Sunday. Commonwealth Games was a mistake, but London last year was a learning experience. This time I hope to be third time lucky and strike gold,” she said. In 2013, when Kiplagat won the second Berlin Marathon (2:21:13), she complained that all the focus was on compatriot Wilson Kipsang.
Kipsang not only won the men’s race but also shattered Patrick Makau’s (2:03.38) world record, clocking 2:03.23. (Dennis Kimetto has since improved the record to 2:02.57).
“I went back to training and have returned stronger and broken two records, albeit over the half-marathon distance in Barcelona. But I want a fast time in London to improve my personal best (2:19.44),” she said.
Last year, Kiplagat clocked 2:20:24 to finish second to Edna (2:20:21). A faster time will mean she secures a second under 2:20. She will come up against Dubai marathon champ, Ethiopian Aselefech Mergia.
Mergia (2:19:31) is the third quickest on paper in a women’s field containing the last three London Marathon champions – Edna Kiplagat, Mary Keitany and Priscah Jeptoo. Florence Kiplagat is fourth fastest with 2:19.44.
In her quest for the Beijing World Championships, Kiplagat said she was keen to compete in the 10,000m event.
“My target is to compete in the 10,000m at the World Championships,” she said.
“I do my own planning and when I’m in shape, it will be hard for the opponents to beat me.”
Courtesy of standardmedia.co.ke