Injured Chemutai promises to return stronger, wish Kenya team success in Spain

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Kenya's Fancy Chemutai has promised to return from her hamstring injury stronger and contest at top competition this season.

The 23-year old, who missed the world half marathon record by one second in winning the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon in United Arab Emirates last month, withdrew from the Kenya team to the World Half marathon in Valencia, Spain.

However, she believes the team representing Kenya led by current world record holder Joyciline Jepkosgei will carry the day in Valencia on Saturday.

"I must wish the team Kenya a fantastic race in Valencia. They are strong and will stand out as the best road racers in the world. I will be glad to represent my country another day, when I'm fit again," Chemutai said Saturday in Nairobi.

However, she said she will not be traveling to Europe to seek medical attention as she believes the doctors in Eldoret and Nairobi will help her heal faster.

Kenya faces a hard task to emulate their 2016 performance where they won all the top three medals in Cardiff, Wales.

World half marathon record-holder Jepkosgei will make her global championships debut in Valencia, just six months after triumphing in the Spanish City.

Jepkosgei clocked 64:51, a world record in the Valencia Half Marathon last year but she only clocked 66:46 in the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon last month.

The Kenyan team has been weakened by the late withdrawals of Fancy Chemutai and Mary Wacera and replacements were unable to be drafted in, although another key challenger for the title is Ruth Chepngetich (66:19) and Pauline Kamulu Kaveke.

Bahrain has named a strong team headed by world marathon champion Rose Chelimo (68:08) and Asian record-holder Eunice Chumba (66:11) while Ethiopia is fielding a fairly inexperienced team with Netsanet Gudeta (67:26) their best known name.

Japan will challenge for their tenth successive team medal and their fastest runner is Mao Ichiyama (69:14).

Top Europeans in the field include Spanish record-holder Trihas Gebre, Brits Gemma Steel and Charlotte Purdue and Belarus' Volha Mazuronak.  

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