By John Kwoba NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Paris marathon champion Betsy Saina says she
intends to add another golden feather to her illustrious cup by
conquering the New York marathon course.
However, for Saina
to excel, she must work extra hard to deny not only Kenyan
rivals but last year’s winner Shalane Flanagan and the Boston
Marathon champion Des Linden of the United States.
“Even though winning
Paris marathon was months ago, it’s still fresh in my memory and
that’s what pushes me, working hard every day. I need more,”
she said Monday in Eldoret.
Saina, 30, will be
running her fourth marathon. Her first two in New York and Tokyo
saw her fail to finish the race, but she returned stronger to
claim her maiden win in Paris in April, which lifted the
pressure off her back.
“I am excited to
train hard again for the next marathon. This time I got half of
the work taken care off because I am well prepared in mind. I
know what it takes to be the best,” said Saina. “The Paris
Marathon became my game changer.”
After her win in
Paris, Saina finished third at the Great Manchester 10km run, in
an event that was won by Ethiopia’s Tirunesh Dibaba with Kenya’s
Joyciline Jepkosgei settling for silver. She also competed at
New York Mini 10km finishing fourth and was seventh at the
Boston 10km road race.
“I have finished my
longrun and I feel healthy and great,” she added.
However, Kenyan Mary
Keitany will be keen to reclaim her title while Vivian Cheruiyot
is eyeing her first win in US soil after conquering London
Keitany holds the
women’s only marathon world record of 2:17:01 from her victory
at the 2017 London Marathon. Britain’s Paula Radcliffe’s world
record of 2:15:25 is the only time faster than Keitany’s.
Keitany attempts to break it in London in April was futile as
she finished fourth with Cheruiyot winning.
Last year, Keitany
was second in New York behind Shalane Flanagan.
But with Cheruiyot
running 2:18:31 in London, she promises to blossom further in
her fourth race. But there will also be an Ethiopian contingent,
which includes 2018 World Half Marathon champion Netsanet Gudeta
and last year’s New York City Marathon third place finisher
Mamitu Daska. No Ethiopian woman has won the New York City
Marathon since Derartu Tulu in 2009.
Olympic silver medalist Sally Kipyego will also be back to
competition after returning from maternity leave.