NAIROBI, Oct. 31 (Xinhua) -- Kenya's hopes and prayers will be with world champion Edna Kiplagat on Sunday when she lines up among elites eyeing to clinch her second New York Marathon title.
Organizers have confirmed that the race, the final one in the five big city marathons, will go on as planned despite fears of strong winds and storms in the United States.
Kiplagat, who skipped last year's event because of a knee injury, which she picked up after falling in Daegu World Championships, will be the best bet to reclaim the title she last won in 2010.
"My training has gone on well and now what remains is the main race in New York. I really need to win this event," Kiplagat said on Wednesday from Eldoret after winding up her training.
She departs later on Wednesday for New York together with compatriot and Boston Marathon champion Sharon Cherop.
The London marathon silver medalist said she is eager to reclaim her New York marathon title on return to the event on Nov. 4 and boost her chances of winning the World Marathon Majors (WMM) 500,000 U.S. dollar jackpot.
No Kenyan woman has won the WMM bounty, despite their men colleagues having dominated it since 2007.
It will be the first major race for Kiplagat since her woeful performance at the London Olympic marathon where she wound up in position 20.
"That was a big disappointment to me in London. But it is part of the game. I have now been in training and it has since gone well and look forward to the challenge in New York," said Kiplagat.
"I have always loved running on the streets of New York, so I was really disappointed last year to miss because of the knee injury from my terrible fall at the World Championships. I am, of course, very, very happy to be invited back to NYC this year, and will be doing my best to try to win the race again."
Kiplagat is second in the World Marathon Majors (WMM) leader board with 50 points, 15 less than leader Mary Keitany, who has pulled out with a tendon injury.
A win in New York will give her the win, which alongside the 150,000 dollars on offer as prize money, will see her bank the 500,000 dollars cheque for the WMM series.
Another Kenyan, Sharon Cherop, winner of Boston, is third in the WMM leader board with 45 points and she will also be running in New York.
Cherop, 28, winner in Boston Marathon and 2011 World Championships marathon bronze medallist also hosts outside chance of winning the WMM.
Kiplagat will have to fight it out with Ethiopia's Buzunesh Deba though the organizers have ruled out the return of defending champion Firehiwot Dado. The Ethiopian was forced out with a blister injury.