NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 16 – Brigid Kosgei now plots at making an assault on the Olympic Gold medal next year in Tokyo after obliterating Paula Radcliffe’s 16-year women’s marathon world record at Sunday’s Chicago Marathon.
Kosgei shaved a minute and 22 seconds off Radcliffe’s record set in 2003 and now hopes to crown that moment with the gold medal in Tokyo next year.
“As for now I hope for good recovery but my biggest target is to go to Tokyo next year and win that gold medal. That is what I will work for and hopefully I can achieve it,” Kosgei told Capital Sport on Tuesday morning after being received at the Athletics Kenya headquarters.
The 26-year old said she did not expect to break the world record in Chicago, but when she reached halfway and saw she was within range decided to go all out and make an assault for the 16-year mark.
“I was feeling okay but I did not expect to break the record. However, I started very strongly and when I reached the halfway point and felt that I still had strength, I decided to go for it. I am so happy to have achieved this record and more so in the presence of the previous record holder,” Kosgei further stated.
She believes she can even go further than the 2:L14:04 mark she set in the streets of Chicago.
“Yeah why not. I believe I can go lower by even a minute. If I can keep working hard, be disciplined and trust in God, I believe I can do it,” the confident Kosgei noted.
Her feat was also celebrated by Athletics Kenya boss Lt. Gen (Rtd) Jackson Tuwei who lavished her with praises for finally bringing the record home.
“Now as Kenya we have the records in both marathons and half marathons plus all the other records we have on track. We are proud of Brigid and how hard she has worked to be here,” Tuwei stated.
She could however not run away from the thorny issue of doping, something that has tainted Kenyan athletics with several high-profile names, most associated with her management camp being handed bans.
“I think the government is doing very well to fight doping in this country. I am tested so many times and I was also tested several times before Chicago and I am running clean,” Kosgei noted.
Meanwhile, AK boss Tuwei has stated that they will organize a seminar for all athletes in the country at the end of the year just like they did in 2018 to continue sensitizing the athletics community on the growing concern of doping.
“We are working very closely with IAAF on that. We want to invite a bigger pool of athletes than we did last year and we will also involve more coaches and managers,” Tuwei noted.