NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Former world 10,000m champion and Beijing
Olympic bronze medalist, Linet Masai on Tuesday warned her rivals
not to rule her out when she makes her debut in London marathon on
The 29-year-old, who has battled with poor form,
injuries and maternity leave, will be seeking to make a statement
when she runs in London with her eyes firmly on representing Kenya
at the World Championships in Qatar later in the year.
It is by no chance that she chose to return to top flight
marathon in London where she will be up against her nemesis
including defending champion Vivian Cheruiyot, New York City
marathon winner Mary Keitany, Berlin Marathon champion Gladys
Cherono, Chicago Marathon gold medalist Brigid Kosgei and Berlin
marathon bronze medalist Tirunesh Dibaba.
All the five have run under two hours and 20 minutes in marathon,
not once but on several occasions.
"Getting an invite to compete in London is not easy.
"I am happy to have been considered because it is one of the
biggest marathons in the world with a very fast course.
"Furthermore, it is special to me since I will be participating
for the first time," said Masai in Nairobi.
It will be Masai’s second marathon after she made her debut last
year in Amsterdam where she clocked an impressive 2:23:46.
But the fast time will count for less when she faces her rivals,
who have superior records and fast time over the distance.
"I lost two years of no competition between 2016 and 2018.
"But I have returned strong and will be out to reclaim my spot in
the global ranking," said Masai.
To prepare well, Masai said that she will compete in a half
marathon in March to gauge her speed and endurance.
"But for the time being she is happy to immerse herself in
training in Kaptagat, Eldoret.
"My build-up to London has slowly started and I will be picking
up pace with planned participation in one or two road races. I want
to run one half marathon race before heading to London," said Masai.
Apart from a series of half marathons, Masai’s best days were in
the track and cross country, where she battled Cheruiyot with losses
But when the two meet in London, there will be no love lost and
their legs will do the talking.
"Our rivalry is always in competitions.
"Away from the course or track we are best of friends and
teammates," said Masai.