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Two-time champion Ndereba tips Chepng’etich to break Radcliffe’s record

By Amos Abuga
Wednesday, October 9th, 2019
Ruth Chepngetich, the World Women Marathon champion, is joined by her parents Stephen Langat (left)and Milkah Langat when she arrived at JKIA from Doha, Qatar on Monday. Photo/PD/DAVID NDOLO

World marathon champion Ruth Chepng’etich has the pedigree to lower the women’s record, two-time winner Catherine Ndereba has said.

Ndereba a former world marathon record holder, in her assessment of the 25-year-old, who she only met three weeks ago, said she is not one to be wished away.

“I think we have a special athlete with us. I didn’t know her until she came to my house on the eve of leaving for Doha. 

We shared a meal, which I would call the ‘Last Supper’ and then we prayed together,” said the Olympics silver medallist.

“I had read about her but not the pleasure of meeting her, coming to my house for advice was such a noble idea, to me I could see the hunger, determination I had as a young athlete,” Ndereba talked of the athlete who clocked 2:32:43 to be crowned the new world champion in Doha.

“What I told her was to run her own race and not to allow, opponents, to get out of sight. She did very well, it was inspiring to all upcoming athletes,” said Ndereba.

The reigning Standard Chartered Bank Dubai Marathon, who achieved the fete in a personal best time of 2:17:08, has a captivating story. 

She has never considered having a coach to perhaps help spur her career to the next level.

“I have never trained under a regular coach, not because I don’t value the work coaches do, but because I think I am better off without one, I want to have my own programme without someone telling me what to do, after all I have come this far without one, I am planning to stay like that for now,” said the athlete, who is under the management of Italian agent Federico Rosa of sports management company Rosa and Associati.

In Doha, she defeated 2017 winner Rose Chelimo of Bahrain who clocked 2:33:46 and Helalia Johannes at 2:34:15 who won the silver and bronze medal respectively.

The athlete from Kericho County is not giving the record much thought despite being the third fastest athlete over the distance behind Mary Keitany (2:17.01) and record holder Paula Radcliffe (2:15.25).

“That is flattering, but it is not on my mind at the moment. 

Training well for the Olympics in Tokyo remains top of my priority. 

I want to be the world an Olympic champion,” said the athlete who made her Kenya debut in Doha.