Florence Jebet Kiplagat is set to run in Gold Coast after four year break
Double Berlin Marathon champion Florence Jebet Kiplagat returns to action in July after four years out of competition due to an injury and prolonged illness.
The former World Half Marathon record holder will compete at the Gold Coast Marathon on July 2 and she can't wait.
“It has been long since I completed and my return into action after four years in the cold is a sign that God loves me. I want my return to be better than before,” said Kiplagat.
Kiplagat was initially entered to compete at the Stockholm Marathon on June 2 but changed her plans after failing to secure vital travel documents on time.
She will be hoping to lower the course record currently held by Lindsay Flanagan at 2:24.43. Kiplagat’s best time stands at 2:19.44 set in 2011 at the Berlin Marathon on her second victory.
“I entered the Stockholm Marathon late and failed to secure a visa. That made me change my mind to compete at the Gold Coast Marathon in Australia,” she said.
The Iten-based runner had three incidents that kept her from running. First, the nagging injury, followed by the coronavirus then sickness. She says after the injury in 2019, she was to return to action but the world was hit by the Coronavirus pandemic. "When the pandemic was over and planning to return, I fell sick," she explained.
The mother of two has sweet memories of her World Half Marathon record feat, which she lowered twice; posting a new high of 1:05:12 in 2014 and 1:05:09 in 2015 during the Barcelona Half Marathon.
Under the tutelage of Italian marathon coach Renato Canova, Kiplagat says she is on top of her game and optimistic her performance in Gold Coast will be good despite the long period on the sidelines.
“Right now, I am coaching myself because my coach is currently unwell. However, he has been sending me a training programme, which I follow religiously in a bid to make a successful return," she says.
She is well remembered to have ended Kenya’s 16-year-old gold drought at the 2009 World Cross-Country Championships in Amman, Jordan before winning the World Half Marathon title in Nanning, China in 2011. Kiplagat is a former footballer, who played at the national school games.
posted Friday May 26th
by Emmanuel Sabuni