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Kibet hopes for to keep family tradition


Former world 5,000m silver medallist Sylvia Kibet, the pioneer member of the Kibet running siblings, is looking for a comeback at Standard Chartered Nairobi marathon Sunday after almost two years in the works.

Kibet will be competing in 21km to gauge her speed as she prepares to run her second marathon at Saitama marathon in Japan, after her first ran 2.30 personal best Hamburg marathon.

“I will be competing in 21km, I want to test my speed as I prepare to run my second marathon in Japan and am eager to win,” said the jovial 2010 Commonwealth silver medallist in 5,000m, who missed the 2012 London Olympics qualifying time with a second.

Kibet, a perennial fourth-place finisher in global competitions, has been nursing a career-threatening ankle injury that saw her miss out in the world 5,000m mouth-watering clashes against Ethiopians. The alumnae of Sing’ore Girls High School in Keiyo North picked the injury ahead of world championships in Moscow.

But history and fame favours the Sylvia Kibet and her five siblings that include naturalised Dutch woman Hilda Kibet, the former Europe cross-country champion. They are made up of Hilda, Sylvia, Valentine and twins of Elvin and Ivy; all well-known for track prowess, though Sylvia is steadily trying luck in the lucrative road running.

The injuries and the long spell she has had in the tracks conspired well in her decision to make headway to road races.

“I want to try luck in road races after picking injuries most while competing on the track. I think road race maybe better than track, for now. At the same time, I have done well on track and its good for me to try another challenge on the tarmac roads,” said the second-born child of Peter and Grace Kibet, who were also athletes during the 1970s.

Sylvia, who won silver at African junior championships is the 1,500m national record holder, said age is catching up with her and that a young crop of athletes are slowly outfoxing her out of the tracks which, she believes, is a healthy competition in the sport.

She is the 1998 east Africa Championships gold medalist in 3,000m and still keen to curve a niche in road races after her debut in 7km Memorial Peppe Greco race.

“Young girls are coming very fast and we should give them a chance to run on track as we venture into road races especially marathon world as retiring age comes knocking,” said the former world youth silver medallist.

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