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Keitany to run for her spot in Kenya team at London marathon

By John Kwoba NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- New York marathon champion Mary Keitany of Kenya will be eyeing her third win in as many attempts when she lines up on Sundayat the London marathon and hopes it will be attained in superfast time.

Keitany, 33, wants to use the event in London as a springboard before she pushes for gold at the London World Championships in August.

Although her mind is focused on winning gold at the worlds, Keitany however, has the small task of winning the selection favour from the coaches panel and hopes a good show on Sunday will win them over.

“Winning is always the main target. But Having won here before, I believe doing it in super-fast time will be a great attraction to the people, fans and the competition,” she said.

The Kenyan also hopes luck will stick with her and the weather will be just perfect for a fast run.

“It is not about the world record. What is crucial is to improve on my time and running under 2:18 will be a bonus. If the weather will be fine for us, we can run the best time,” she said on Thursday.

The three-time New York City Marathon champion is also banking on the support of compatriot Florence Kiplagat and Vivian Cheruiyot to see the trio glide to victory.

“I believe for us cooperation is important and we must try to run as a team in the initial stages to see we accomplish our targets, then we can go for the crown individually,” she added.

Keitany is the fastest woman in the field with a 2:18:37 personal best. “I don’t know about the world record, but we will run the best time.”

She replied to the possibility to attack Paula Radcliffe’s all-women’s world record of 2:17:42. Organizers said that the women’s pacemakers are targeting a 69-minute first half.

Meanwhile, Kiplagat, the former world half marathon record-holder has said compatriot Jemima Sumgong testing positive for EPO was “really embarrassing the sport.”

“For me it really embarrasses the sport. I am really ashamed. I am ashamed because we are losing top athletes like that,” she said.

Ethiopia’s Mare Dibaba won a bronze medal behind Sumgong in Rio last summer and said it was difficult to learn the winner might have been taking banned substances.

The result of Sumgong’s B-sample is still not yet known.

           

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