Kenya’s Korikwiang shakes off injury, targeting Africa championships

Nairobi, June 10 (IANS) Two-time World Military Games champion Pauline Korikwiang of Kenya has returned from injury and aims to peak in time to make the Kenya team to the Africa Championships.

Korikwiang, 30, last featured at the Africa Championships in 2010 when Nairobi hosted the games and finished a distant sixth. However, loss of form and recess due to maternity saw her skip the 2014 and 2016 games, reports Xinhua news agency.

Now she believes she has shaken off her poor form and is eyeing a return to the international scene in Nigeria for the continental competition, which also serves as a qualifying event for the IAAF continental championships, which will be held in Ostrava (Czech Republic) in September.

“I have started the season strong focusing on the road races. But the ultimate goal is to compete at the Africa Championships. It is the most important event this season and hope to claim a ticket to the IAAF Continental Championships,” Korikwiang said here on Saturday.

On Friday, she competed in the Kenya Defense Forces Championships in Nairobi and showed her true talent when she won the 10,000m race beating world half marathon record holder Joyciline Jepkosgei to second place.

Jepkosgei is also keen to secure a ticket to the continental championships after she shelved her plans to compete in road races in Europe.

An ankle injury prevented Jepkosgei from winning the world half marathon in Valencia in March picking the silver medal, but she has since shaken it off.

Jepkosgei was third at the Great Manchester Run in England last month losing to Tirunesh Dibaba and Betsy Saina.

“I tried to go fast and it cost me. Now I am planning on running the 10,000m race on track and see if I can make the Kenya team,” she said. “What I have in plan for 2018 is to challenge some course and world records in selected races.”

Indeed her schedule has started piling up and she will have to be at her best form if she is to actualize her dreams. Last year in Prague, Jepkosgei shattered the 10km record clocking an impressive 30:05.

“My training has gone on well. There is nothing much I have changed during my training and I’m looking forward to the race in the track competitions,” she said.

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