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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kenyan runners now target Olympics
after New York Marathon conquest   

NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- Kenyan athletes Mary Keitany and Vivian Cheruiyot believe with better planning the women’s world record will soon be shattered.

This comes just a day after the two made a 1-2 finish at the New York Marathon and saying running at the World Championships in 2019 and the Olympic Games in 2020 are options they would like to pursue.

Keitany won the race clocking 2:22:48, the second fastest time ever run in New York with Cheruiyot finishing second in 2:26:02.

This was Keitany’s tenth podium finish in a big city marathon and the first in 2018 after she was relegated to fourth at the London Marathon in April.

Keitany now leads the World Marathon Majors leaderboard as the program takes a break until the Tokyo Marathon in March 2019.

“The world record is beatable if we plan well. I didn’t want to rush at the beginning to suffer at the end. I wanted to be comfortable so I could be strong at the finish,” said Keitany on Monday.

Cheruiyot had to be content with a runner-up spot in 2:26:02 after struggling with a variety of injuries, aware that on this particular day she had run into an express train in Keitany.

“I had a hamstring injury and knee and calf injuries so I was running in pain throughout,” Cheruiyot said on Monday.

“I have to be happy with second because my training was interrupted due to a leg injury. However, I must congratulate Keitany, who was very strong.”

It was the fourth marathon for Cheruiyot after winning in London and Frankfurt and finishing second in London in 2017.

Now she believes she will be stronger for the challenge of the World Championships as part of her preparations for the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020.

“I will first return home to rest and recover. Then we will see next year what happens. I want to defend my title at the London Marathon and then see if the selectors will offer me the chance to compete at the World Championships or not,” said Cheruiyot.

The men race was won by Ethiopia’s Lelisa Desisa. The Ethiopian edged his compatriot Shura Kitata to win by two seconds in 2:05:59 with 2017 champion Geoffrey Kamworor settling for bronze in 2:06:26.

“I’m really happy to finish on the podium,” said Kamworor. “I tried my best and gave it my all.”

Ethiopia’s Tamirat Tola (2:08:30) was fourth ahead of Kenya’s Daniel Wanjiru (2:10:21) in fifth.

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