Kenya: Brigid Kosgei Set for First Race of the Season

18 February 2020

World marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei is among elite athletes who will compete in Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon in the United Arabs Emirates slated for Friday.

The Kapsait-based athlete will line up in the race alongside her compatriots, former World Half Marathon Championships title holder Peres Jepchirchir, Joan Chelimo, Rosemary Wanjiru and third fastest woman over the distance, Fancy Chemutai. World Half Marathon champion, Netsanet Gudeta, from Ethiopia will also compete in the race.

Kosgei, who is one of the most sought-after athletes at the moment, has predicted a competitive race in the Gulf.

"Friday's race has attracted a competitive field and promises to be tough. My target is to run well, and to possibly register my personal best in the race," she told Nation Sport Monday.

The reigning world marathon record holder who resumed training in December after a long break will have Geoffrey Kipsang for a pacemaker. Kipsang helped Kosgei break the world marathon record last year in Chicago Marathon.

"I have trained for the last few months and I will stick to my game plan in the race," she said.

The athlete, who broke the women's marathon record in Chicago Marathon last year after clocking 2 hours, 14 minutes and 04 seconds, expects a good weather on the day of the race as she seeks to reduce her time in the half marathon.

Last year, she ran the fastest time in history at the Great North Half Marathon race when she clocked 1:04:28 which was faster than the world record time of 1:04:51 set by Joyciline Jepkosgei in 2017.

Her time was not ratified by World Athletics since the Great North Run is contested on a point-to-point course

Kosgei said was disappointed to learn that the course was not ratified.

"I may have clocked the fastest time in Great North Run Half Marathon at the time, but it was not recognised for world record. I will nevertheless give RAK Half Marathon a good shot as I try to lower that time," said the athlete.

Regarding former RAK Half Marathon champion Fancy Chemutai's quest for the world record, Kosgei said: "Chemutai is seeking to run the world record and that means it will be a fast race. I'm ready for that."

Like other athletes, Kosgei will use Friday's race as build-up for London Marathon slated for April.

"I like participating in a half marathon races or road races before a major race and this year is no different. After RAK Half Marathon, I gauge my form and do some fine-tuning ahead of London Marathon," she said.

Ethiopian women swept the podium places last year after Senbere Teferi crossed the line in 1:05:45 ahead of her compatriots Netsanet Gudeta (1:05:45) and Zeineba Yimer (1:05:46).

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