Unfit Jeptoo out of New York Marathon and WMM jackpot quest
06 October 2014, 12:04
Nairobi - Unfit Priscah Jeptoo will not put his reputation and body on the line in quest of conquering the New York marathon course on Nov.2.
Though she has recovered after getting injured on the right leg at the April London Marathon, Jeptoo has opted to forfeit defending her crown in New York and also gives up her quest to retain the lucrative 500,000 U.S. dollars jackpot in the World Marathon Majors (WMM).
"I am injury free, but I have to be realistic. I have not had enough time to do my training and it would not be prudent for me to go and compete in New York, because am not in competition ready at the moment," Jeptoo said on Sunday in Eldoret.
It will be a blow to the organizers, as they thought the race for the WMM jackpot would remain open for the top three women.
However, with Kiptoo opting out, it leaves just two Kenyans, Chicago Marathon Champion Rita Jeptoo (note not Priscah) and Edna Kiplagat, the London Marathon Champion.
"Let somebody else also win the jackpot. I will live to fight for it another day," said Priscah, who was crowned the WMM champion together with Ethiopia's Tsegaye Kebede.
Rita Jeptoo can, however, close down the contest on Oct. 12 and take her points total to a maximum 100 if she wins.
It will also make her the first athlete in the history of the competition to score the maximum points available.
Even second place on the flat Chicago course will make her points total almost unbeatable with her average winning time currently faster than that of second place Edna Kiplagat.
Kiplagat, the double world champion, is currently only 10 points behind Rita Jeptoo and will be watching the Chicago race with anticipation.
Also read: List of athletics world records
Organizers of the New York marathon have also confirmed that Stanley Biwott of Kenya, runner-up at the London Marathon, also has pulled out of the race. Jeptoo and Biwott have leg injuries.
Jeptoo says the injury occurred at the London Marathon in April took longer to heal and "will not allow me to be ready to honor the race and my title the way I should for such a great event."
She said she plans to come back to New York next year.
Joining the field next month will be 2013 Boston Marathon champion Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia and 2013 Chicago Marathon runner-up Jemima Sumgong of Kenya.
Sumgong was to compete at the Chicago Marathon together with training mate Rita Jeptoo and Florence Kiplagat, the World Half Marathon record holder.
But she will now opt for the tougher and hilly New York race on Nov. 2.
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