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    August 11, 2018 11:06 AM HKT



    NAIROBI, June 24 (Xinhua) -- New York marathon champion Mary Keitany of Kenya has not given up hope on making the Kenya Olympic marathon team despite being named on the reserve bench.


    This is what will inspire her as she lines up to defend her Mattoni Olomouc Half Marathon in Czech Republic on Saturday.


    Keitany hasn' t raced since falling in the London Marathon and even though she was only named as a reserve after finishing ninth in London, she hasn' t ruled out being called up to the main team.


    "I think that the real selection will be made the first of July. We are still finding the team. The coaches have not made up their final decision on who will compete in Rio Olympics and I am hopeful, that can change anytime," she added.


    The 34-year-old Keitany will return to the scene of her 1:06:38 course record in Prague while fellow Kenyan Stanley Biwott faces a stiff challenge in his tune up for the Olympic marathon. The race will be on Saturday.


    "I want to try and run fast but I don't know if the weather conditions will allow me to challenge the course record. I think I'm fit, (but) first of all we must talk about the weather. The weather in Czech Republic is terrible, very hot," she said.


    But Keitany' s road to a repeat victory will not be easy as some best athletes in the history of the race will compete for the title.


    Leading that group of women will be 25-year-old Kenyan Violah Jepchumba, who in April stunned the road racing world with her victory at the Sportisimo Prague Half Marathon in 1:05:51, moving her to third on the world all-time list. Only Florence Kiplagat (1:05:09) and Keitany (1:05:50) have ever run faster.


    Since then, Jepchumba has gone on to record victories in Istanbul and Gothenburg with times of 1:08:18 and 1:08:01 respectively, meaning she heads to Olomouc with a string of five wins at the half-marathon distance.


    Ethiopia' s Worknesh Degefa, who finished second to Jepchumba in Prague in a personal-best time of 1:06:14, and Kenya' s 2014 Prague Half Marathon winner Joyce Chepkirui, who has a 1:06:18 personal best time, are equally capable of challenging for the top spot on the podium.


    Also running among the elite women will be Eva Vrabcova, a winter Olympian in cross-country skiing. Vrabcova qualified for the Czech Olympic team for Rio when she finished sixth at the Volkswagen Prague Marathon in 2:30:10.


    PARIS Salomon S-WIND Sale , Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- Air France-KLM, one of Europe's main flag carrier, on Monday proposed to suspend an investment scheme of its low-cost subsidiary Transavia until the end of the year in a bid to stop a week-long pilots' strike, the company's head Alexandre de Juniac said.


    ""We are proposing to suspend until the end of the year the project to create Transavia units in Europe outside France and the Netherlands to create time to carry out a thorough dialogue on the plan and to formulate the necessary guarantees with unions Salomon XT Hornet Sale ,"" De Juniac told the daily Le Monde.


    ""This arrangement must not call into question our ambition to develop Transavia, which is one of the key sources of growth for the Air France-KLM group,"" he added.


    With the ""final proposal,"" the French-Dutch company hoped to end ""disastrous"" strike of its pilots that costs up to 20 million euros (25.67 million U.S. dollars) a day.


    On Monday Salomon S-LAB SENSE Sale , pilots entered the second week of strike, forcing the company to cancel 60 percent of its scheduled flights.


    With an expected 65 percent of pilots to walk out, Air France pledged to operate 41 percent of its flights at Paris airports while it saw a worsening situation at Lille airport, north France Salomon XT Hawk Sale , where no flights were planned on Monday.


    Refusing a cost-cut scheme including pay and transferring to the group's Transavia low-cost unit, pilots said to extend their protest until September 26 if talks doomed to fail.


    Chinese mainland and Taiwan are in communication on arrangements for a meeting between the two cross-Strait affairs chiefs, a mainland spokeswoman said on Wednesday.


    Fan Liqing, spokeswoman with the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office (SCTAO) Salomon S-Lab Fellcross 2 Sale , made the remarks at a regular press conference.


    SCTAO head Zhang Zhijun and Wang Yu-chi, mainland affairs chief in Taiwan at the time, were originally scheduled to meet on Feb. 7-8 in Kinmen. The meeting was postponed as the two sides focused on the aftermath of a TransAsia Airways plane crash in Taiwan on Feb. 4, where more than 40 people Salomon Kalalau Sale , including both Taiwanese and mainlanders, were killed.


    Wang later resigned from his post after his former deputy's alleged involvement in confidential information leaks. The future meeting with Zhang will be conducted by his successor, Andrew Hsia.


    At Wednesday's press conference, Fan said the negotiating bodies of the mainland and Taiwan-- the mainland-based Association for Relations across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) and the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) in Taiwan-- are also arranging the next round of talks between the two organizations' leaders Salomon Outban Low Sale , which is scheduled to be held on the mainland.


    Fan also reiterated Taiwan personnel participation in mourning the passing of former Singaporean prime minister Lee Kuan Yew needs to be handled in a proper manner with adherence to the one-China principle.


    Fan made the remarks in response to inquiries about Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou's activities in Singapore.


    Lee always upheld the one-China policy while he was alive and did a lot of work to improve relations across the Taiwan Strait, the spokeswoman said.


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