Kiplagat, Ndiema target return to action in October

Wednesday, June 17th, 2020 00:00 |
Florence Kiplagat before the start of a past local race. Photo/PD/DAVID NDOLO

Nairobi, Tuesday

Former World Half marathon record holder Florence Kiplagat and Amsterdam marathon bronze medallist Erick Ndiema have both come back from long injury hiatus. 

However, their returns coincided with the Covid-19 pandemic, which means they have to continue to wait for their first race due to the restrictions on travel and public gatherings around the world.

Ndiema incurred a tendon injury that affected his heel and kept him out of action for two years.  He now believes he is ready for competitions later in this year.

“I have never rested for long like now. Although it helped me to relax, but I have lost two years. I am ready to compete but there are no competitions.

It is hard to remain focused and inspired to train when there is no competition,” Ndiema told Xinhua in a telephone interview on Monday. 

He added: “There is a small matter of shedding off the excess weight, which I have gained owing to limited training. I would like to compete at my optimum weight of 64kg.”

Kiplagat, who injured her leg when competing in Chicago in 2018, said she has struggled to return to fitness.

The 36-year-old announced she has overcome her fears and is ready to compete.

“I hope to compete, I have overcome the injury that almost made me end my career prematurely. I still want to win with fast time in big city marathons,” Kiplagat said. 

“For now, I train with my pacesetters Ezekiel Kipchirchir and Timothy Kuto while observing social distance protocols,” Kiplagat added.

The former World Half marathon record holder set a 65:09 in Barcelona, 2015, but soon was eclipsed by Joyceline Jepkosgei’s 64:51 in Valencia.

Kiplagat said she was “frustrated” when knowing her record has been broken.

“Breaking the world record was one of my best moments in my running career. Records and titles are what athletes battle for, they are what keep us working hard to attain better results.

I want to have one more shot at the world record and see if I can push my body to do it,” Kiplagat added.   -Xinhua

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