Beijing Marathon champion Valary Aiyabei Jemeli is set to participate at the Nagoya Women's Marathon and improve on her second finish last year

Beijing Marathon champion Valary Aiyabei Jemeli hopes her top form will help her to make the Kenyan team at the World Marathon Championships.

Jemeli, 28, will return to the Nagoya Women's Marathon on March 10 hoping to improve on her second finish last year to boost her chances of breaking into the Kenya team to the global championships which will be held in Doha, Qatar in October.

"The immediate challenge is to improve on my silver medal from Nagoya to gold. I know the challenge will be of international class, but my training has been good and I have recovered since my last run in Ras Al Khaimah in United Arab Emirates," said Jemeli on Friday from Eldoret.

Jemeli's profile was enhanced when she defied the odds to win in the Chinese capital last year. She started the season with a strong run in UAE where she was fifth. She hopes to improve and prepare to defend her title in Beijing.

"My plan is to make the Kenya team to the World marathon championships. But that is not down to me to make the decision. So I will have the Beijing marathon as my main target, to go and defend my crown and should the coaches opt to offer me the chance to run in Qatar, then we will have to reschedule," said Jemeli.

Last year, Jemeli ended a four-year winning run by Ethiopian runners in the Beijing marathon when she clocked 2:21:38, the fourth fastest in the history of the race and the quickest mark since 2005, but was two minutes shy of the 2:19:39 course record set by Sun Yingjie in 2003.

posted Friday February 22nd