NAIROBI, May 8 (Xinhua) -- World marathon champion Ruth Chepngetich believes that, with good preparations, she stands a good chance of challenging the world record over the 42km distance.
The 25-year-old believes she would have attempted to set a new fastest time at this year's London Marathon, where she was due to battle it out with defending champion Brigid Kosgei, who holds the world record at 2:14.40, and Olympic champion Vivian Cheruiyot (2:18:31).
Although, her hopes were dashed as the COVID-19 pandemic decimated the 2020 sporting calendar, with countries canceling competitions and closing their borders to foreign visitors, Chepngetich is hopeful she will weather the storm and return to competition stronger and ready to achieve her dream.
"Breaking the world record is something I have thought about and something I want to achieve, because I believe there is every likelihood that somebody will possibly do it," said Chepngetich.
The Kenyan, who is also the Dubai Marathon champion, clocked 2:17:08 in January last year to climb to fourth in the all-time women's marathon rankings. Only three athletes - Kosgei (2:14:04), Paula Radcliffe (2:15:25) and Mary Kaitany (2:17:01) - have run the 42km distance faster.
"As long as you set your mind to do something and work towards it, you can make it. The world record is something I want to attempt. I don't know when or where, but it is something I have to do in my career aspirations. For now, what is important is to remain healthy and safe from the coronavirus pandemic. However, I know the right time will come for me to go for the record as along as I am injury-free and focused," added Chepngetich.
Chepngetich's outstanding 2019 season saw her named as a candidate for the 2019 AIMS Awards.
In addition to winning the world marathon title in Doha in a time of 2:32:43, she also added wins at the Istanbul Marathon, the Dubai Marathon (in 2:17:08, the second-fastest time of the year), the Istanbul Half Marathon, the Seiryu Half Marathon and the Bogota Half Marathon.
"I am very happy to receive this award in Athens where the sport of marathon running was born," she said. "It is a great honour to be recognised in this way."
Chepngetich, Kosgei and Cheruiyot will also be carrying Kenya's flag at the Tokyo Olympic Games, now rescheduled for 2021.