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Jeptoo keen on breaking records in London

11 February 2014, 08:20

Nairobi - Kenya's Olympics marathon silver medalist, Priscah Jeptoo is focused on beating her own personal best when she bids to win back-to-back London Marathon titles on Apr. 13.

The World Marathon Majors and New York winner also talked up an attempt at the world record owned by Britain's Paula Radcliffe that has stood for more than a decade.

Jeptoo, 29, who clocked a lifetime best over the classic distance while finishing third at the 2012 edition of the London Marathon in 2:20:14, faces the challenge of Ethiopia's multiple Olympics champion Tirunesh Dibaba, who will have a much anticipated full marathon debut at London.

Olympic gold medallist, Tiki Gelana of Ethiopia and fellow Kenyans, two-time world champion, Edna Kiplagat and Berlin winner, Florence Kiplagat are the other main contenders for her crown.

"I'm in good shape; I can see I will perform well if I continue training like last year. The way I see my body, it's coming like last year," Jeptoo said.

"What I did last year gives encouragement that I can improve my time and that is my focus to run under 2:20," announced Jeptoo, who won seven of eight races last year with a second finish at the high-status Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon on Feb. 15 (66:11).

Besides bidding to follow the immediate footsteps of compatriot Mary Keitany in successfully defending the London title, Jeptoo is also eyeing the long standing world record this season.

"We have spoken with fellow Kenyans like Edna or Mary who is on leave. This year we have to think about it and we have to try."

"It is something that is in my heart, that this year I will try to run a good time and if possible, I will try to chase the world record."

Radcliffe ran the standing male assisted world record of 2:15: 25 during the 2003 London edition but the 2:17:18 winning time from the 2002 Chicago Marathon in an all women race is considered as the achievable standard.

"The field this year is not easy. They know me because last year I won and we have Tirunesh Dibaba debuting."

"It will not be easy in the first part but I will try to do my best on the second," Jeptoo underlined her mission in London as she bids to outfox an impressive field.

London has drawn an elite field with three athletes who have run quicker than 2:20, another five who have finished under 2:25, as well as Tirunesh.

After London, Jeptoo opted out of the World Championships in Moscow to compete at the New York Marathon in November where she triumphed in a rain-swept course in 2:25:07 to win a share of the $ 500,000 World Marathon Majors jackpot.

"It was something that I did not know I could be the World Marathon Majors winner. It gave me more encouragement I could make it and improve my time this year," she said of being acknowledged formally as the best female elite circuit marathoner on the planet.

- Xinhua

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