The women’s half marathon world record holder will race over 26.2 miles for the first time in April.

World half marathon record holder Joyciline Jepkosgei will make her eagerly awaited marathon debut in Hamburg on April 28.

Jepkosgei had a sensational breakthrough in 2017, when she broke a total of six world records, four of which came in the one race.

The Kenyan athlete took the half marathon record in Prague in a time of 64:52, along with new world best for 10km in 30:05, 15km in 45:37 and 20km in 61:25.

Later in the year, she improved her 10km global record to 29:43 and then established the current world half marathon record of 64:51 in Valencia.

Since the beginning of the year, the 25 year-old has been training for the Hamburg Marathon under her new coach Gabriele Nicola.

“My manager Gianni Demadonna and my coach Gabriele Nicola both told me that Hamburg has a fast and flat course,“ said Jepkosgei. “I would like to achieve a time of around 2:22. But there are still two months of preparation to come.

“I have to wait and see how my body reacts to the training. Once I am a week away from the race I will see in what kind of form I am. Then I will determine my final goal.”

If Jepkosgei, who usually trains with male pacemakers, can build good form in the coming weeks Hamburg’s course record could be within reach. Ethiopia’s Meselech Melkamu holds this mark with a time of 2:21:54 from 2016.

Organisers also confirmed that Abel Kirui will compete on the fast course in Hamburg.

The Kenyan, who has won two world gold medals and an Olympic silver medal, intends to attack Eliud Kipchoge’s course record of 2:05:30.

“We are extremely proud to welcome these two outstanding athletes among many other promising elite runners to our race,” said chief organiser Frank Thaleiser. “It will be fascinating to see what immediate impact Joyciline Jepkoskei can have in the marathon.

“In contrast, Abel Kirui has so much experience. We hope that he can use this well and produce something special on our fast course.”

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