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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kenyan debutants to run own race to
avoid pressure at London marathon    

By John Kwoba NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- Two Kenyan athletes will hope fate will be on their side as they take a leap of faith in the tough marathon competition in London on Sunday.

Olympic 5,000m champion Vivian Cheruiyot and former World Cross Country silver medalist Bedan Karoki will be running their own race to defeat their worst worries as they join the big league on Sunday at the London marathon.

The two however, are not keen to challenge for the same at the London World Championships in August and instead will return to the track competition in 10,000m distance.

Kenya will be using the London marathon as a trial event to select their marathon team for the World Championships. 

Speaking in Nairobi Thursday before he left for London, Karoki said the switch from the track to the marathon has been “tough” but has said he has prepared well ahead of his debut in the London Marathon on Sunday.

“Training has been tough. Making the switch from 10,000m to half marathon and now full marathon is not easy but am psyched up and leave everything else to God. I have been focusing on speed work and getting the endurance right for the event,” Karoki said.

“It’s a huge event but I have prepared well. I know a good performance there will change my life forever,” he added.

Karoki is only keen to finish the race and if the win will fall in place for him, then he will welcome it. “How the body will react after the race is so crucial for me,” he said.   

“This is a new challenge and I have targets, which is to finish the race, winning will be a bonus.” 

For Cheruiyot, she steps up to the big challenge with set mind of a winner’s mentality and will do everything possible to see that she is on the podium after the end of the 42km.

Cheruiyot, who is also the world 10,000m champion, rule out targeting specific time ahead of her debut.

“In London I want to run for the experience and to run my best. I don’t want to say that I will run a particular time because it is my first marathon and I want to run without pressure,” she said. 

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