Kenya’s Keitany trains eyes on third London marathon victory
Nairobi, Jan 27 (IANS) New York marathon champion Mary Keitany of Kenya is not worried about the level of competition she will face in her quest to clinch third London marathon women’s title in April.
The 35-year-old focuses on making a statement that will sway the selectors in their quest to pick the best for the Kenya team to the London World Athletics Championships in August and believes a win in the British capital will seal her place in the team, reports Xinhua.
“It is too early to talk of winning but what is critical is to make the Kenya team. I missed out on the Rio Olympics and this will be my chance to redeem and have a final shot on the major championships,” she said Friday from Eldoret.
“I have started strongly in my training and hope to peak at the right time.”
Last year, Keitany was poised to clinch the title but a fall at the start of the race saw her fade off the stage and she could only secure a ninth spot in the ranking.
“I have a winner’s mentality and always want to focus on my own strength and not what others have. This is something that comes automatically when the training is right. But I know I will not be ninth,” said Keitany.
London Marathon organisers termed this year’s field as the toughest to have been assembled and Keitany could not agree more. “We have all the top runners in there. Everybody can see it is a strong field,” she said.
“I have started training but it is still early to tell more about my prospects. I will have to train hard and maybe by March, I can be in a position to talk about winning a third title.”
Indeed Keitany plans to run at least one half marathon race before the April assignment, though she has not made up her mind.
Barcelona Half Marathon, with a fast course, is one of the options though she also wants a race in England, specifically the Great North Run in Newcastle.
During the London marathon, Keitany will be up against defending and Olympic champion Jemima Sumgong (2:20:41 hours), Aselefech Mergia (2:19:31), Florence Kiplagat (2:19:44), winner in Chicago, Mare Dibaba (2:19:52), Aberu Kebede (2:20:30), Tirunesh Dibaba (2:20:35), Helah Kiprop (Tokyo 2:21:27) and Tigist Tufa (2:21:52).