Until 2008, Kenya was still waiting for its first men’s marathon gold medal despite the country boosting of the best talent in the road race distance.
Similarly, Kenya was yet to feel the texture of women’s gold at the games, ever since its debut in 1956. Twice the country has come close to lifting the women’s marathon title – in Beijing and Athens – but Catherine Ndereba, missed it slightly taking only managing to win silver.
However, this is bound to change in London on Sunday as Kenya parade some of the best athletes in the 42km distance.
London marathon champion Mary Keitany carries the country’s hopes.
“I have been in training and know the type of expectations Kenyans have ahead in Olympics,” she said.
“It will not be easy, but I don’t train or enter a race worried or looking at what the opponent is planning. I only focus on my own strength and I know I can win that gold.”
Keitany will not be a lone ranger chasing gold for Kenya. However, her quick time and consistency has portrayed her as the steel around which the silk of Edna Kiplagat, the world marathon champion, and Priscah Jeptoo, the London marathon bronze medalists, will be wrapped on. It will be the fourth time that Kiplagat will be pulling on the Kenyan jersey, but the world marathon champion has never felt the pressure and aspiration of a country, as is the case of the London Olympics.
running for kenya
“We have very many athletes and some are very good. Better than me. But I was picked and the expectation is high. I don’t plan to desert them,” she said.