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Kiplagat’s Sh50m dream up in smoke

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NAIROBI, Kenya, October 7- The $500,000 (Sh50m) World Marathon Majors (WMM) dream for Edna Kiplagat ended after knee injury ruled her out of the New York Marathon.

Kiplagat, the Big Apple titleholder, scooped the world title in Daegu where she became the second female athlete after Catherine Ndereba to win the event’s gold medal.

Only the world champion had a chance of passing Liliya Shobukova in the WMM series with only the Chicago Marathon this Sunday and New York remaining on the calendar.

Shobukova will defend her title in Chicago.

Kiplagat, 32, hurt her left knee in a fall during the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, in August. She got up and won that race, but she was unable to fully recover from the injury in time for her title defense on Sunday, November 6.

”I am thankful for NYC for giving me opportunity to come back and defend my title, but unfortunately I am not in a position to defend my title at this year’s ING New York City Marathon,” Kiplagat said in an email to NYRR officials.

“As I said last year upon winning in New York, it was the greatest day of my athletic career. The New York City experience was just fantastic, and I was very much looking forward to trying to win again this year.”

“Unfortunately, the physical therapy and treatment I had to do for my knee after falling in Daegu took much more time than I expected. Although I am now able to train well and there is no lingering pain, the recovery and treatment took more or less the whole month of September. I was only able to train once a day in September.”

“After discussing it more this weekend with my husband Gilbert, who is also my coach, we decided that with less than five weeks until New York, I will not be able to be in my top shape for the race there. I know from last year that athletes need to be in peak condition to compete to win in New York City.

“So the best decision is to withdraw from this year’s race. This was a very difficult decision, because of the great treatment I have received from everybody in New York during the past year, and also because the World Marathon Majors title is still undecided, but we think it is best to not run when I will not be at 100 percent.”

Kiplagat won in New York last year in 2:28:20, beating runner-up Shalane Flanagan of the United States by 20 seconds and third-place finisher Mary Keitany of Kenya by 41 seconds.

Keitany, this year’s Virgin London Marathon champion, returns this year and is joined by reigning Boston Marathon champion Caroline Kilel along with New Zealand Olympian Kim Smith, Jo Pavey of Great Britain, Olympian Jéssica Augusto of Portugal, and Americans Jen Rhines and Lauren Fleshman.

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