Edna Kiplagat and Lucy Kabuu target gold in Moscow marathon

By Jonathan Komen

Iten, Kenya: Marathon women title will be up for grabs on August 10, when the 14th World Athletics Championships kicks off in Moscow.

For Kenya, that quest will be led by World marathon champion Edna Kiplagat against Ethiopian and Russian onslought.

Kiplagat, who is among the nine marathoners training in Iten, will join forces with former Commonwealth Games 10,000m winner Lucy Kabuu alongside newcomers Margaret Akai and Valentine Kipketer.

Kiplagat is keen to stretch her running prowess from Daegu to Moscow streets. She finished second behind Mary Keitany at the 2012 London Marathon with a personal best of 2:19:50 before returning in the same position this year behind Prisca Jeptoo. Now Kiplagat wants to stake claim to the world marathon title to prolong Kenya’s grip on the medal.

“I am now polishing up on speed work. I had nice build up races in Lisbon and Rock N’ Roll half marathons. We only need high team spirit to replay the Daegu feat,” Kiplagat told FeverPitch at Keellu Resort in Iten yesterday.

But Kabuu, who boasts an impressive 2:19.34 personal best she posted in finishing second at Dubai 2012, eyes gold in Moscwo.

“We have team work. It’s only through faith and cooperation that we can excel. I have studied the course in Moscow on internet and I hope the hilly terrains will be helpful,” said Kabuu, a 66.09 minutes runner in 21km.

For Valentine Kipketer, her 2:24.20 best mark (Mumbai) and  Margaret Akai (2:23.28 Daegu Marathon) is clear proof they can run faster.

Coach Abraham Kiplimo, who handles the team in Iten, said he will do everything possible to help the team retain women title.

“We are sharpening a few areas but we will work as a team. And I hope we will even surpass the five medals we won in Daegu,” said Kiplimo.

Upstarts Peter Some, Michael Kipyego, Bernard Kipyego and Nicholas Kipkemboi are in the men’s team. Also in the mix are Bernard Koech, who won Rock “N” Roll Half Marathon in 58: 41, the fastest time ever run on American soil and the fastest in the world this year.

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