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Defending London Marathon champion Vivian Cheruiyot, says a women-only world record could be broken Sunday

Vivian Cheruiyot appears in a confident mood ahead of Sunday’s Virgin Money London Marathon, and with good reason.

The defending champion returns to the UK capital as a 66:34 half-marathoner, having improved her PB to claim victory in Lisbon last month. That run, she says, paired with her performances in training, proves she’s in even better shape than last year, when she defeated a field including her fellow Kenyan Mary Keitany after a superbly-judged race which resulted in a 2:18:31 PB.

“I am in better shape because last year I changed things and the programme of last year and this year has been the same,” says the 2016 Olympic 5000m champion, who made her marathon debut in London in 2017.

“We normally compare (the training of) last year and this year and I did better than last year which means I am in better shape than last year so I am happy about that.

“I also did a personal best at the half-marathon in Lisbon so I think I am going to run good on Sunday.”

Twelve months ago, in challenging hot conditions, Keitany and Tirunesh Dibaba had been accompanied by male pacemakers as they set their sights on Paula Radcliffe’s world record of 2:15:25. Keitany stormed through half way in 67:16 before fading in the final miles, with Cheruiyot coming through for victory after having sat back off the lead pack initially.

This time the race will feature female pacemakers, as it did in 2017 when Keitany ran her women-only world record of 2:17:01 to secure her third London Marathon title.

World half-marathon record-holder Joyciline Jepkosgei heads the lead group of pacemakers and will be joined by Dorcas Tuitoek and Edith ChelimoEunice Chumba will pace a second group.

While Dibaba won’t be racing on Sunday as she is expecting her second child, Keitany does return and the pair will also be joined by two other sub-2:19 runners – Chicago champion Brigid Kosgei and Berlin winner Gladys Cherono.

Cheruiyot believes a women-only world record could be on the cards.

“The male pacemakers, they were quicker (last year) because the ladies wanted to run 2:15. I think now people are trying to run 2:17,” she says. “It’s possible (for the women-only world record to be broken) on Sunday if the weather is good because I know the athletes are very strong.

“I’m going to try my best (to break the record herself). It will depend on how my body responds. If it is going to respond very well, I am in good shape and I’ll try to do my best.

“If it’s going to be 68 (minutes) at half way, that is okay for me, I can stay with them all the way through. Last year 67 was too fast.

“Running a PB in Lisbon really gives me confidence because mostly I did it alone. We have people pacing us here so my chances of running 2:17 are very high.”

Since making her debut two years ago, Cheruiyot has raced three more marathons – in Frankfurt (first in 2:23:35), London and New York (second behind Keitany in 2:26:02) – and, despite missing the track, she insists she won’t be returning to in-stadium action.

“I miss it a lot because I really liked running on the track, especially the 5000m – it was really enjoyable for me,” says the 35-year-old four-time world track gold medallist.

“We used to go for 40 minutes, one hour training (for the track), but now you have to do 40km for training – it’s very hard.

“When I started training for the marathon I was like ‘I’m going to finish the training, I’m going to be tired forever!’ But now I am catching up, I am used to it and I love it now.”

(04/27/2019) ⚡AMP
by Jessica Whittington
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

The London Marathon was first run on March 29, 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since 2010. It is sponsored by Virgin Money and was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley. It is organized by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) as Race Director and Nick Bitel...

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This year London Marathon will have the deepest women’s field in marathon history

This Sunday is the Virgin Money London Marathon, and the women’s field is so strong it feels too good to be true. It feels like winning an all-inclusive trip for two by calling into a radio show–things this good just don’t happen.

But this field is real, and very much happening. Getting underway on Sunday morning at 4:25 a.m. EDT is a women’s event that could make history.

The only piece of bad news is that one of the fastest marathoners in history, Tirunesh Dibaba, has announced that she and her husband are expecting their second child and that she won’t be racing for the remainder of the year.

The top women coming in are defending champion Vivian Cheruiyot and women’s-only world record-holder Mary Keitany. These are just two of the six women with incoming personal bests under 2:20:00.

The others are Birhane Dibaba, who was the winner of the 2018 Tokyo Marathon in 2:19:51, Gladys Cherono (a three-time Berlin champion with a personal best of 2:18:11), Brigid Kosgei (the 2018 Chicago champion in 2:18:35) and Roza Dereje at 2:19:17 (from the Dubai Marathon in 2018).

The wild thing about this group of women is that each of them (except for Dereje) have a world major title and a recent personal best. Keitany has the oldest PB (which is the women’s-only world record) and it’s only from 2017. In terms of who will take the title, it’s a genuinely tight race between these women.

Depending on the day, the order could change, but Kosgei’s Chicago performance was truly dominant, as was Cherono’s in Berlin in 2018. But Keitany has had luck in London before, setting the world record there, so she knows how to run the course well.

The other women’s story to watch is the American battle. The Molly Huddle and Emily Sisson battle could make history for American women. Both women have had impressive 2019 seasons. Sisson ran within seconds of Huddle’s American half-marathon record in Houston.

Then the two women competed against each other three weeks ago at the Stanford Invitational 10,000m, where Sisson came out on top in 30:49 and the third-fastest American woman of all time.

Huddle is going in with an extremely impressive personal best of 2:26:44, and London will be Sisson’s debut. Both women are clearly in incredible shape, and the women’s field is top-notch, so they are sure to push each other to some of the fastest American women’s times in history. Deena Kastor’s American record of 2:19:36 may not be within reach just yet, but it likely will be one day soon for these women.

(04/24/2019) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

The London Marathon was first run on March 29, 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since 2010. It is sponsored by Virgin Money and was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley. It is organized by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) as Race Director and Nick Bitel...

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Reigning London Marathon champion Vivian Cheruiyot is focusing on defending her title at 2019 London Marathon

Reigning London Marathon champion Vivian Cheruiyot is not focusing on breaking the world record when she returns to the 2019 London course on April 28.

Cheruiyot, popularly known as ‘Pocket Rocket’, will be lining up in the streets of London for a third consecutive year but this time round she will be defending the title she clinched in 2018.

The Olympic Champion clocked 2:18:31 beating the three-time London Marathon champion and her close ally Mary Keitany en route to clinching the title and the duo are set to face off again in this year’s event.

The 35-year-old however says that focus is on retaining the crown but not setting a record and would not be focussing on her competitors.

“I will be running against anybody. I will be competing as Vivian and so I don’t know what my competitors are planning, maybe they want to break the world record but for me I hope to run good race,” Cheruiyot, known for her trade mark infectious smile told Citizen Digital.

Having beaten Keitany to the title last year, Cheruiyot said they might be rivals on the road but enjoys a warm relationship with the New York Marathon champion.

“In athletics we are also friends, only that if I win then that is my time and if Mary wins it’s her time because this is sports,” explained Cheruiyot.

This year’s race is set to be as competitive as ever with the winners of the last four Abbott World Marathon Majors set to line up in London on Sunday.

The duo is set to face off against Chicago Marathon champion Brigid Kosgei and the Berlin Marathon champion Gladys Cherono.

Also, in the mix is another Kenyan, Linet Masai, who will be making her debut.

Cherono, Kosgei and Keitany top the current Abbott World Marathon Majors Series XII rankings with 25 points apiece from their wins in Berlin, Chicago and New York.

Meanwhile, three-time Olympic champion who finished second in London and won Chicago in 2017, Ethiopia’s Tirunesh Dibaba, has pulled out of the Sunday’s race as she is expecting her second- born child thus leaving her compatriots Tadelech Bekele, who finished third in London last year and the 21-year- old Roza Dereje, second in Chicago, and winner of the Dubai Marathon in 2018 to lead the assault for Ethiopia.

(04/22/2019) ⚡AMP
by Gilbert Kiprotich
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

The London Marathon was first run on March 29, 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since 2010. It is sponsored by Virgin Money and was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley. It is organized by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) as Race Director and Nick Bitel...

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Mary Keitany, Vivian Cheruiyot And Tirunesh Dibaba will battle at the London Marathon

The defending champion Vivian Cheruiyot and the current TCS New York City Marathon champion Mary Keitany return to the Virgin Money London Marathon in 2019.

They join their compatriots Gladys Cherono (2018 BMW Berlin Marathon champion) and Brigid Kosgei (2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon champion) meaning the winners of the last four Abbott World Marathon Majors will be on the Start Line in London on Sunday 28 April.

Cheruiyot, who is also the reigning Olympic 5000m champion and the runner-up behind Keitany at last November’s TCS New York City Marathon, said: “It was a great moment for me winning last year’s Virgin Money London Marathon and I am very much looking forward to returning in April.

“The line-up for this year’s race is, once again, incredibly strong so I know I will need to be at my very best to repeat last year’s victory but it is a challenge that I’m really looking forward to. I will be ready.”

Also confirmed to run are the Ethiopian trio of Tirunesh Dibaba,  the three-time Olympic champion on the track and third fastest woman of all time, who finished second in London and won Chicago in 2017, Tadelech Bekele, who finished third in London last year, and 21-year-old Roza Dereje, second in Chicago and winner of the Dubai Marathon in 2018.

Cherono, Kosgei and Keitany top the current Abbott World Marathon Majors Series XII rankings with 25 points apiece from their wins in Berlin, Chicago and New York. Dereje and Cheruiyot are on 16 points apiece following their second places in Chicago and New York respectively. The Series XII title could be decided in London.

The Abbott World Marathon Majors series adds up points for the best finishes in the world’s six best marathons. Series XII started at the 2018 BMW Berlin Marathon and will finish at the same race in 2019, taking in the 2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, 2018 TCS New York City Marathon, 2019 Tokyo Marathon, 2019 Boston Marathon and the 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon.

Hugh Brasher, Event Director, said: “This is a truly amazing women’s field which features the five best women marathon runners in the world last year. The stage is set for a fascinating race on Sunday 28 April.

(02/06/2019) ⚡AMP
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

The London Marathon was first run on March 29, 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since 2010. It is sponsored by Virgin Money and was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley. It is organized by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) as Race Director and Nick Bitel...

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Ethiopian Ruti Aga wants to win the title at the Tokyo Marathon

The women’s field at the Tokyo Marathon is led by Ethiopian Ruti Aga.  She has a personal best of 2:18:34 and is joined by three other female athletes who have run better than 2:20.

Aga ran her 2:18:34 PR when finishing second behind Kenya’s Gladys Cherono in Berlin last year and she’ll be joined in Tokyo by Kenya’s Florence Kiplagat (2:19:44 PR) and Ethiopians Boru Feyse Tadese (2:19:30 PR) and Yebrgual Melese (2:19:36 PR), plus world champion Rose Chelimo (2:22:51 PR) and Mimi Belete (2:22:29 PR) of Bahrain.

Kenya’s Joan Chelimo (65:04 half-marathon PR) makes her marathon debut.

Among the Japanese entries is Honami Maeda (2:23:48 PR), who was second in the Osaka Women’s Marathon last year and seventh in Berlin.

(01/23/2019) ⚡AMP
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Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

The Tokyo Marathon is an annual marathon sporting event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World Marathon Majors. Sponsored by Tokyo Metro, the Tokyo Marathon is an annual event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World...

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Beijing Olympics 10,000m bronze medalist Linet Masai will make her debut in London marathon on April 28

Former world 10,000m champion and Beijing Olympic bronze medalist, Linet Masai on Tuesday warned her rivals not to rule her out when she makes her debut in London marathon on April 28.

The 29-year-old, who has battled with poor form, injuries and maternity leave, will be seeking to make a statement when she runs in London with her eyes firmly on representing Kenya at the World Championships in Qatar later in the year.

It is by no chance that she chose to return to top flight marathon in London where she will be up against her nemesis including defending champion Vivian Cheruiyot, New York City marathon winner Mary Keitany, Berlin Marathon champion Gladys Cherono, Chicago Marathon gold medalist Brigid Kosgei and Berlin marathon bronze medalist Tirunesh Dibaba.

All the five have run under two hours and 20 minutes in marathon, not once but on several occasions.

"Getting an invite to compete in London is not easy. I am happy to have been considered because it is one of the biggest marathons in the world with a very fast course. Furthermore, it is special to me since I will be participating for the first time," said Masai in Nairobi.

It will be Masai's second marathon after she made her debut last year in Amsterdam where she clocked an impressive 2:23:46.

But the fast time will count for less when she faces her rivals, who have superior records and fast time over the distance.

"I lost two years of no competition between 2016 and 2018. But I have returned strong and will be out to reclaim my spot in the global ranking," said Masai.

To prepare well, Masai said that she will compete in a half marathon in March to gauge her speed and endurance. But for the time being she is happy to immerse herself in training in Kaptagat, Eldoret.

(01/23/2019) ⚡AMP
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

The London Marathon was first run on March 29, 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since 2010. It is sponsored by Virgin Money and was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley. It is organized by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) as Race Director and Nick Bitel...

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Defending champion Vivian Cheruiyot will defend her London Marathon title in April

Vivian Cheruiyot believes she will need to produce her "very best" to defend her London Marathon title in April as she heads a star-studded lineup, which includes winners of the last four majors.

Cheruiyot will be joined by fellow Kenyans Gladys Cherono, Brigid Kosgei and Mary Keitany, who top the Abbott World Marathon Majors Series XII rankings with 25 points apiece from their wins in Berlin, Chicago and New York respectively.

Cheruiyot clocked two hours, 18 minutes and 31 seconds to seal her London triumph last year ahead of three-time winner and race favourite Keitany, who finished fifth.

"It was a great moment for me winning last year's Virgin Money London Marathon and I am very much looking forward to returning in April," Cheruiyot said in a statement.

"The line-up for this year's race is, once again, incredibly strong so I know I will need to be at my very best to repeat last year's victory but it is a challenge that I'm really looking forward to. I will be ready."

(01/20/2019) ⚡AMP
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Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge and Gladys Cherono named AIMS Best Marathoners for 2018

The AIMS athletes’ nomination committee has decided that for this year (October 2017 to September 2018) Eliud Kipchoge and Gladys Cherono were the outstanding candidates for the awards based on their performances over the past 12 months. Kipchoge is undefeated in the marathon in 2018, winning in London and Berlin. His victory in Berlin was in a world record of 2:01:39, taking 78 seconds off the previous record – the biggest single improvement on the world record for more than 50 years. Cherono won the Berlin Marathon in a world-leading time of 2:18:11. She finished fourth at the London Marathon earlier in the year in 2:24:10. The achievements of the two Kenyan athletes will receive global recognition during the AIMS ‘Best Marathon Runner’ Awards Gala in Athens, Greece on November 9. (11/08/2018) ⚡AMP
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Let’s not forget Gladys Cherono’s performance at the Berlin Marathon 2:18:11

Kenya’s Gladys Cherono smashed her personal best and course record when she claimed her third Berlin Marathon victory on Sunday. Cherono, who broke away from the pack at the 25km mark, swept the course to victory in 2 hours, 18 minutes and 11 seconds, becoming the fourth fastest woman in the history of women’s marathon. She broke Japanese Mizuki Noguchi’s 13-year-old course record by 61 seconds besides improving her personal best of 2:19:25 set with victory in 2015 in Berlin. Noguchi won the 2005 Berlin in a course record time of 2:19:12. “My target was to break the course record and improve on my personal best and I am happy I did it,” said Cherono, who retained her title for her third success in Berlin. She won in Berlin in 2015 in personal best 2:19:25 before reclaiming the title last year in 2:20:23. (09/18/2018) ⚡AMP
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Eliud Kipchoge smashed the World Marathon Record clocking 2:01:39 in Berlin

33-year-old Eliud Kipchoge from Kenya smashed the world marathon record in Berlin today (September 16, 2018) clocking 2:01:39, breaking the record by over a minute. 

According to MBR's Willie Korir reporting from Kenya, "the pace was so high.  Eliud started well and maintained 2:52-2:55/k pace.  Two of the pacers dropped at 14k.  Sammy Sitwara, Kipkemboe and Boit remained up to 25k.  Eliud was alone from 25k to the end. 

It is a big celebration all over Kenya especially in Eliud's home town of Kapsabet and in Eldoret, home of Champions." 

Amos Kipruto (2:06:23) passed Wilson Kipsang to place second and Wilson placed third (2:06:48).    

Kipchoge maintained his form well in the closing stages and crossed the finish line in 2:01:39, taking one minute and 18 seconds off the previous world record set four years ago by Dennis Kimetto.

This is the largest single improvement on the marathon world record since Derek Clayton improved the mark by two minutes and 23 seconds in 1967.

"I lack the words to describe how I feel," said Kipchoge. "It was really hard [during the last 17 kilometers] but I was truly prepared to run my own race.

I had to focus on the work I had put in in Kenya and that is what helped push me. I’m really grateful to my coaching team, my management, the organisation."

For the women, Gladys Cherono set a course record clocking 2:18:11.  Second woman was Ruti Aga 2:18:34 and Trunesh Dibaba 2:18:55.

(09/16/2018) ⚡AMP
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BMW Berlin Marathon, fast times and intense battles, maybe a world record

Eliud Kipchoge is just like the rest of us runners. All he wants from his next race is to beat his personal best. The only difference is that his next event is the BMW Berlin Marathon on September 16 and a Kipchoge PR could mean a new world record!, Eliud Kipchoge is the marquee signing for the 45th edition of BMW Berlin Marathon as the current Olympic champion and undisputed number one for consistency and quality in recent years. His PR, set in London 2016 (2:03:05), prefaced his Olympic marathon gold in Rio the same year. Meanwhile, Denis Kimetto's world record (2:02:57) remains tantalisingly just out of reach for the three-time London champion and double Berlin winner. Kipchoge surely has pace to burn as his brilliant 2:00:25 in 'laboratory' conditions at Monza motor racing circuit in May last year demonstrates. This was never going to be ratified as a record but serves to indicate there is much more to come from the 33-year-old Kenyan, who said: “My preparation is entirely concentrated on the BMW Berlin Marathon on September 16. I am confident I can beat my personal best on this fast course if conditions are good.” The women's field in Berlin is the best for many years and is headlined by the third fastest in history, Tirunesh Dibaba, from Ethiopia (2:17:56) who set her PB in London last year chasing Paula Radcliffe's legendary 2:15:25 from 2003. Dibaba will face the defending champion Gladys Cherono (Kenya) and former double Berlin winner Edna Kiplagat (Kenya), who is the oldest of the leading trio at 38 years old. (09/13/2018) ⚡AMP
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Gladys Cherono of Kenya will put her title on the line at the Berlin Marathon on Sept. 16

Defending champion Gladys Cherono of Kenya will put her title on the line as she confronts multiple world and Olympic gold medalist Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia and Edna Kiplagat at the Berlin Marathon on Sept. 16. Organizers have assembled some of the fastest women in women marathon with hope that they will make a serious attempt to lower the world record, which has stood since 2003. "The elite women's field for the Berlin Marathon is the strongest for many years. We proudly present Tirunesh Dibaba, Gladys Cherono and Edna Kiplagat. This will be a thrilling race," the organizers said in a statement. Cherono will be keen to make it three wins in four attempts after clinching the gold medal in the German capital in 2015 and 2017 while Kiplagat has won twice the world title and celebrated numerous wins at the Boston Marathon. Just like Dibaba, Kiplagat will be making her debut in Berlin. "Berlin is calling. Pleased to announce my next destination. Looking forward to running fast time," said Kiplagat. However, focus will be on 32-year-old Dibaba, who has three Olympic gold medals and nine world titles on the track and cross country. The Ethiopian has a marathon personal best time of 2:17:56. That time, which she set when finishing second at last year's London Marathon, makes her the third fastest woman in history. Dibaba is keen to beat this time in Berlin and, given ideal weather conditions, might even get close to the world record of 2:15:25, set by Paula Radcliffe in 2003. Cherono regained the Berlin Marathon title last year in 2:20:23, having won in 2015 with a best time of 2:19:25. (08/02/2018) ⚡AMP
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Kenyan Edna Kiplagat is set to make history at the 2018 Berlin Marathon

Edna Kiplagat, upon finishing the Berlin Marathon in September, will become the first-ever elite able-bodied woman to finish all six world major marathons. A person who has finished all six of the world majors is known as a six star finisher. The world majors include: Tokyo, Chicago, New York, Berlin, Boston and London. Kiplagat has had an incredible marathon career. She won the New York City marathon in 2010, the London Marathon in 2014, and Boston in 2017. She was runner-up at Chicago three years in a row, and at London in 2016. To round it all off, she placed third at Tokyo in 2016. If Kiplagat can manage to come top three in Berlin, she will also be the only able-bodied woman to podium at all six of the world majors. Kiplagat will face tough competition in Berlin.Rounding out the women’s elite field is Berlin Marathon defending champion, Gladys Cherono. Cherono has a personal best of 2:19.25 and also won Berlin in 2015. (07/31/2018) ⚡AMP
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Ethiopian Tirunesh Dibaba has been confirmed for the 45th annual BMW Berlin Marathon

The third fastest female marathoner of all-time will face previous winners Gladys Cherono and Edna Kiplagat in the German capital. Tirunesh Dibaba has been confirmed in elite women’s field for the 45th edition of the 2018 BMW Berlin Marathon, which takes place on September 16. The 32-year-old, who has won three gold medals at consecutive Olympic Games (2008 and 2012) and five World Championships from 2003 to 2013, will be joined by Kenyan athletes Gladys Cherono and Edna Kiplagat, who have both won twice in the German capital before, and fellow Ethiopian Aselefech Mergia. All four athletes have personal bests under 2:20 making it the strongest women’s field for many years. Defending champion Eliud Kipchoge is among the leading entries in the men’s field, which was announced in June. Dibaba, one of the best female distance runners of all time and the third fastest in the history, will start as the favorite, and also has a point to prove after dropping out of the London Marathon in April. (07/31/2018) ⚡AMP
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