8 November 2018

Kenya: New York Marathon Queen Keitany Mulls New Conquest in Doha

Multiple New York Marathon champion Mary Keitany is considering running in next year's World Championships in Doha, Qatar.

The women's only world marathon recorder holder said on Thursday soon after landing at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi from New York that she will discuss with her manager about whether she will be running in the Middle East at the Worlds or she will defend her New York title that she has won four times. The Doha World Championships will be held on October 1-6 next year while the New York race will be in November meaning the athlete can only manage to take part in one event.

"For now, I wish to take some time off to relax and celebrate with my family as I wait for my manager to come over the next 10 days," said Keitany.

Keitany, 36, blew the field apart on Sunday to emphatically win her fourth New York Marathon women's title, finishing in two hours, 22 minutes and 48 seconds - the second fastest time ever run across the five boroughs of Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Manhattan.

A remarkable performance by any standard. But if she expected a hero's welcome in Nairobi, the reception was anything but.

There was no official welcome for her either from the government or Athletics Kenya.

When asked about the lacklustre reception Keitany, who was honoured in the American city by being allowed to ring the bell at the New York stock exchange, said: "I have nothing to say but I am still proud of my country."

"When we are celebrating a win out there, Kenya proudly celebrates with us," she said requesting the government to recognise and support athletes since their triumphs help to improve the image of the country internationally.

Keitany was accompanied by her husband-coach Charles Koech and their two children: 10-year-old Jared Kipchumba and five-year-old Samantha Jerop.

Keitany confessed that her children heavily boosted her spirits in the run up to the race and the actual competition.

Keitany holds the world record in a women-only marathon, with her of 2:17:01 winning time at the 2017 London Marathon. She is also a former half marathon world record holder.


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