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Kenyan Kiplagat rues Olympic Games postponement

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Kenyan Kiplagat rues Olympic Games postponement - Sports Leo

Kenyan Florence Kiplagat was in top shape heading into the Tokyo Olympics originally scheduled for July, and the quadrennial showpiece’s postponement has left the former half marathon world record-holder frustrated.

For most athletes, the extra time they have gained to prepare for the Olympic Games has come as a blessing in disguise.

But for Kiplagat, 33, the timing has been somewhat disappointing as she has finally overcome the injuries that have blighted her career in recent years.

The Kenyan won the 2009 world cross country and 2010 world half marathon titles before going on to win the Berlin Marathon twice (2011 and 2013) and the Chicago Marathon twice (2015 and 2016). Between her big-city marathon victories, she set two world records for the half marathon.

A knee injury hampered her 2017 and 2018 campaigns, but she showed decent form at the start of 2019 with a 2:21:50 clocking at the Tokyo Marathon. But that remains her most recent road race.

With the persistent knee injury finally behind her, Kiplagat would have loved to have returned to top-level racing in 2020 before the novel coronavirus pandemic crushed those hopes, but she’s hopeful that it won’t be too long before she can don her racing flats.

“I am optimistic the coronavirus pandemic will soon come to end and the sports world will open up once again,” she told The Star.

“Like any other athlete, the Covid-19 pandemic has affected my training program. The fact that I can’t train with fellow athletes means that I can’t gauge my strength ahead of the season.

“Occasionally, I train with my pacesetters Ezekiel Kipchirchir and Timothy Kuto but we have to observe social distancing even in training.”

In partnership with ANA and Sports Leo

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