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Kenyan targets Olympic gold after smashing world record

Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei, the fastest-ever woman marathon runner, has set her sights on next year’s Olympic games, where a win will solidify her place among the greatest to have ever competed in the sport.

The 25-year-old mother of twins smashed Briton’s Paula Radcliffe’s 16-year-old world record by 81 seconds at the Chicago Marathon in October, recording a time of two hours, 14 minutes and four seconds to cap a stunning rise to the sport’s summit for Kosgei who started competing internationally only four years ago.

“When I went to compete (in Chicago) I did not think that I would break the record,” Kosgei told Reuters at an Athletics Kenya conference in the northwestern city of Eldoret. “My aim was to break the course record (which was 2:17:18).”

She does not feel any pressure now after her record-breaking win or that she needs to restore some Kenyan pride over the distance, where, despite producing great runners for decades, they have struggled to crack the Olympics and then been shamed.

They managed three successive silvers before Jemima Sumgong finally took their first gold in 2016, only for her victory to be tarnished by her failing a doping test less than a year later.

“It will be my first time at the Olympics, if I’m selected,” Kosgei said. “I want to achieve (my best) at in Tokyo, to bring gold for Kenya.”  – Reuters

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