Gladys Cherono: My target was to win not the world record

Former world half marathon champion Gladys Cherono returned to her motherland on Wednesday morning following her exploits at Berlin marathon on Sunday.

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It was all song and dance as the two time Africa athletics champion arrived at the Eldoret International Airport with her husband Joseph Mbambok leading other family members ready to receive her.

With chilly morning weather, the family members broke into song and dance as they welcomed the queen of Berlin marathon after she won her third title and defending her 2017 title, winning with a course record of 2:18.11.

The dance attracted other travellers, who, without asking joined the dance before boarding the planes, as traditional Kalenjin sour milk (Mursik) was served diligently.

Cherono said her purpose was to defend her title and not the world record while competing at Berlin marathon.

My success story was to defend my title not breaking the world record. I have achieved my goal of both winning the race and breaking the course record that had stood for long,” said Cherono.

World record was not in my mind because I wanted to defend my title,” she added.

She said that the main challenge was that she was the defending champion and everybody was looking at her performance and running skills.

As a defending champion, it was challenging because I needed to continue with my winning formula which I made it true,” said Cherono.

Cherono defeated race favourite Ethiopian Tirunesh Dibaba who finished third timing 2:18.55 and Ruti Aga who was second in 2:18.34 and broke the 2005 course record that was set by Japanese Mizuki Noguchi at 2:19.12.

Bwambok said she had prepared her well for the race after recovering from an injury.

When she took to the streets, I was sure she was going to win because of the training we had. I saw the way she was running and knew she had energy to win the race,” said Mbambok.

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