Kenya’s Chepkirui targets world 10,000m title

Nairobi, July 11 (IANS) Reigning Commonwealth Games women’s 10,000 metres champion Joyce Chepkirui of Kenya wants to win the world title in Beijing despite having not competed on the track for the last one year.

Chepkirui, 26, last competed in track competition at the Glasgow CWG in August 2014 and only took over the longest track competition in Nairobi during the National Athletics Championships, reports Xinhua.

Chepkirui’s return to track was seamless as she cruised to victory edging out compatriot Jackline Chepngeno, 24, and CWG bronze medallist Gladys Cherono.

“I have been out of track competition for long. It is because I opted to focus on road races. But the tide is changing and the country needs me to do the job in Beijing at the World Championships,” Chepkirui said in Nairobi.

In her absence from the track, Chepkirui went on to win the Prague Half Marathon in a course record time of 1:06:19 hour, but that has since been improved by the current champion Mary Keitany.

The last time Chepkirui competed in China, it was at the 2010 World Half Marathon Championships in Nanning, where she finished fifth. Now she is focused on claiming gold in Beijing in August.

But she still faces the task of hitting the A qualifying standards prescribed by the world athletics governing body, IAAF. Currently her time of 32:09.35 minutes, which she got in winning in CWG, is a B standard mark. The qualifying standard A is set at 32:00.00 for women.

“I believe with good training, we will be able to do well in Beijing,” she said.

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