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Chepkirui shifts focus to Boston after shining in AK National X-country

Commonwealth Games 10,000m bronze medallist Sheila Chepkirui has her focus shifted to the Boston Marathon after her victory at the Athletics Kenya National Cross-country on Saturday, January 21.

Sheila Chepkirui (R) and Irene Cheptai (L) pose for a photo during the 2022 Commonwealth Games after winning bronze and silver respectively in the 10,000m

At the just concluded event, Chepkirui settled for second place in 32:58. She expressed her excitement towards her podium finish while attesting that the race was not a walk in the park.

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Chepkirui noted that just like other athletes, it was her expectation to win but two-time Chicago Marathon champion Ruth Chepng’etich proved too tough to be defeated.

“I am happy to have placed second and I thank God for that. The race was not easy. I am hoping to compete at the Boston Marathon come April,” Chepkirui said, adding that her endurance is what saved the day during the race.

“It is everyone’s expectation to win but today, it has been difficult to defeat Chepng’etich.”

It is no secret that the Boston Marathon has attracted a strong field including the 2021 London Marathon champion Joycilline Jepkosgei and World marathon champion Gotytom Gebreslase.

Chepkirui revealed that she is highly aware of the big names and she will have to pull up her socks in training if she has to do well in her second marathon. The 32-year-old made her marathon debut last year at the Valencia Marathon where she placed third in 2:17:29.

“I am aware of the strong field and that is why I have to go back to the drawing board and plan my training well. I will mostly focus on my mileage,” she said.

Chepkirui added that competing in the cross-country ahead of debuting in her first major marathon has helped her gain speed which is a key technique in the marathon. “Competing in cross-country has helped me in gaining speed,” she said.

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