18 April 2017

Kenya: Lucky Edna Kiplagat Marathon Majors Winner in Waiting

Photo: Jared Nyataya/The Nation
Athletics fans watch the Boston Marathon on a Television on April 17, 2017. Geoffrey Kirui and Edna Kiplagat won the men’s and women’s race respectively.

Newly crowned Boston Marathon champion Edna Kiplagat could be crowned the 10th World Marathon Major Series women champion if the suspended Olympic champion Jemimah Sumgong is banned for doping.

Kiplagat, the 37-year-old two times World marathon champion, is likely to share the $1million (about Sh100m) jackpot with fellow Kenyan Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge, who also won last year's London Marathon. Kiplagat, who finished third in last year's Tokyo Marathon in 2 hours, 22 minutes and 36 seconds, and second in Chicago Marathon in 2:23:28 also last year, won in Boston on Monday in 2:21:52 to claim a winner's purse of $150,000 (Sh15 million).

Geoffrey Kirui made Boston a Kenyan affair when he reigned supreme in men's race in 2:09:37 to also pocket Sh15 million.

That saw Kiplagat, a mother of two, collect 25 points from Boston, the final race of the 10th Series for her total of 41 to move to second place with 41 points, nine behind Sumgong.

Sumgong, who has been banned from defending her London Marathon title on Sunday, is awaiting her "B" sample results to know her fate after she was temporary suspended two weeks ago after testing positive for the banned blood-booster Erythropoietin (EPO).

She failed the out-of-competition test carried out by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) in February. If Kiplagat is to win the series, it will be the second time she will be benefiting from the misfortunes of a fellow runner testing positive.

Disgraced Rita Jeptoo was found to have used performance enhancing substances and subsequently lost out on winning the eighth Series of the 2013/2014.

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Jeptoo had topped with 75 points, having retained both Chicago and Boston Marathon titles with Kiplagat coming in second on 65.

Athletics Kenya president Jackson Tuwei congratulated Kiplagat and Kirui for their exploits in Boston saying it was a great honour after Kenya reclaimed the men's title they last won in 2012.

However, Tuwei said the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (Adak) have the onus of taking up Sumgong's case but stated that the "B" sample results could take slightly longer. "The results could take longer than we think but I hope Adak will expedite it," said Tuwei.

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