Kirui, Kiplagat in Kenya's marathon team for Doha worlds

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NAIROBI, May 6 (Xinhua) -- Defending champion Geoffrey Kirui and two-time champion Edna Kiplagat will lead Kenya's marathon team to the World Championships slated for September 28-October 6 in Doha, Qatar.

Kiplagat tried to become the first woman to win back-to-back world titles in 2013, but failed to live her dream of winning three titles at both the Beijing 2015 and London 2017 championships.

Kiplagat, now 39, finished fifth in Beijing as defending champion and was second in London losing to Bahrain's Rose Chelimo.

"I still have a dream to win a third marathon title at the World Championships," said Kiplagat on Monday. "It will go down well with my record in dominating the world championships."

Kiplagat, will now be back again in her fifth attempt in Doha targeting to win a third world marathon title, which would be unprecedented for women.

Should Kiplagat be successful, she will get at par with legendary Catherine Ndereba, Manuela Machado and Lidia Simon as the only three-time marathon medalists at the World Championships.

Athletics Kenya senior vice president, Paul Mutwii, said the team will start training in July in Eldoret under coaches Joseph Cheromei and Richard Kimetto.

"We picked the team on availability after many of our top athletes decided not to honour the invitation," said Mutwii.

So far, Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge, Vivian Cheruiyot, London winner Brigit Kosgei, Berlin champ Gladys Cherono, former Tokyo winner Stanley Biwott all have declined to represent the country in Doha, for a race that will be held at midnight to limit the damage on the athletes over high temperatures during the day.

In the men's race, defending champion Geoffrey Kirui has been given a nod despite his poor run since winning in Boston in 2017 and going on to win in London World Championships.

Kirui struggled with the best performance coming in 2018 in Boston where he was second clocking a slow time of 2:18:23 owing to the torrid rainy, windy and wet weather.

The men's team has Amos Kipruto, who finished second in Berlin Marathon last year and the 2018 Paris Marathon champion Paul Lonyangata.

Besides Kiplagat who won the title in 2011 and 2013 before settling for silver in 2017 London, the women's team has Dubai Marathon champion Ruth Chepngetich. Enditem

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