Stakes raised

Tuesday, November 24th, 2020 00:00 | By
A pacemaker leads the two leaders Kenya’s Ruth Chepng’etich (L) and Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei (R) in the women’s race of the 2020 London Marathon in central London on October 4, 2020. Photo/PD/FILE

Women world marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei says she is focused on running her own race at the 16th edition of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon scheduled for 29 November.

While the World Athletics Gold Label race has been tipped as a contest between the Kenyan and Ethiopia’s Ababel Yeshaneh, Kosgei says it is far from that.

“I have had that the race will be the strongest in the history of the event and one of the strongest half marathon contests in the world in 2020.

I think it will be a tough race, but I will not be focusing on my opponents,” said Kosgei who in October 2019, stunned the world when she broke the long-standing women’s world marathon record by more than a minute, clocking 2:14:04 at the Chicago Marathon.

In that particular race in Chicago, Yeshaneh was a distant second but nevertheless still ran a superb personal best of 2:20:51.

Tables turned

However, the tables were turned at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon in February this year when a head-to-head contest in the final stages of the race saw Ethiopia’s Yeshaneh prevail in a world record 1:04:31 with Kosgei finishing second in a time of 1:04:49.

“For me it will be an opportunity to test and push myself further. I mean the race is supposed to challenge me,” added the 26-year-old Kosgei won the rescheduled 2020 London Marathon in 2:18:58.

Meanwhile, Athletics Kenya National Youth head coach Robert Ngisirei has described the future of the sport in Kenya as bright after the conclusion of the national preliminary trials for the World Under-20 Championships at Nyayo National Stadium at the weekend.

While there were impressive performances across the disciplines, Ngisirei says there was more enthusiasm in the field events, an area he says the youth sub committee docket intends to give more focus on before the August 17-22 global event in Kenya.

In the boy’s javelin in particular, Wilson Lentnyei from Central hauled an impressive 61.68m for the best performance of the trials.

Lentnyei produced his fourth best throw of 61.68m after previous throws of 61.12m, 60.40m and 59.97m to win javelin throw, beating compatriot Daniel Mungai in 55.67 as South Rift’s Gedion Kiprotich who hauled 54.81 for third place.

More on Sports