Kenya women marathoners wrap up training and ready for London glory
Kenya women marathoners wound up their residential camp training yesterday in Iten confident of winning the first Kenya Olympics gold in the event at the London Games. No Kenyan woman marathoner has ever won the gold medal at the Olympic Games stage. Four-time Boston Marathon Catherine Ndereba came close in the 2004 Athens and 2008 Beijing Olympic Games but only settled for silver on both occasions. Joyce Chepchumba, another Kenyan marathon runner, bagged bronze medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, to become the first Kenya female marathoner to win an Olympic medal.
Kenya will be represented by 2012 London Marathon champion Mary Keittany, world marathon champion Edna Kiplagat and Priscah Jeptoo at the London Games. Marathon coach David Letting said this is the strongest and best team to have ever represented the country at the Summer Games. “ I can confidently say that they are ready for glory in London, owing to the intense training they have been undergoing at the high altitude region here in Iten,” he noted.
He said the kind of training the athletes have undergone in the last two month will make them very competitive during the games. “They are very focused and mature athletes who know what they want and have been very serious with their training. They are all capable of winning gold if not make a clean sweep in London,” he said.
Leting, however, admitted that the Olympics can be very tricky and one can not rule out the rest of the world. “All the same I have confidence in our runners because they have been tested and are all up to the challenge at the top level,” he added. “We pray for them because the competition is usually very challenging. But because of their experience in road running and our calibre of training and the skills we imparted to them, there is a sign of good things to come,” Letting added. Women marathoners will take on the road on Sunday in the chase for podium slots.
Head coach Julius Kirwa, on his part said he was confident Kenya will win an Olympic women’s marathon gold. “They are the same athletes that have been dominating the world’s major marathons and I am confident they will also reign,” Kirwa said. The men’s marathon team is set to travel on August 7 and run on the last day of the Olympic Games.