Please pick me for Tokyo, pleads Keitany
Four-time New York City marathon winner Mary Keitany has challenged Athletics Kenya (AK) to put her name up for the 2020 Olympics Games in Tokyo, Japan.
Keitany, the holder of the women-only marathon record of 2:17.01 set during the 2017 London Marathon, says her desire is to represent the country at the Olympics next year.
The three-time London marathon champion says age is not a factor, adding that she is training as hard as ever for a chance to represent the country.
“Age is a non-issue for me, but when I look at it, I see it as a pass because it gives me a lot of experience and desire to go for more,” said the athlete who turns 38 on January 18.
The mother of two; Jared, 11 and Samantha, six, says as part of her preparation for a busy year ahead, she will up her training and use mostly men as pacesetters, for what she calls a defining year.
“Ladies usually complain that I am too fast for them, for that is not easy to get good women pacers.
That is why I usually ask male runners to help me work on my time before going for big races,” said Keitany whose husband Charles Koech is her training partner and coach.
The athlete, who sits third in the all-time best times at both the marathon and half marathon, is, however, aware there is equally a very good group of women who have recorded better times and who should be in contention for slots for Tokyo.
“It is not only about me, but you have to factor all the other factors, if I cannot make the team, I will understand because I know the reasons,” she said.
The athlete who attended the just-concluded AK annual seminar for athletes in Eldoret was on the forefront of lauding the idea to have interaction avenues, saying it will benefit mostly the upcoming athletes.
“As a senior athlete, I am happy to see such avenues where all the stakeholders in the sport are able to assemble and talk about existing and emerging issues in athletics.
Personally I wish I had more of such seminars when I was younger,” she added.
“My desire is to see younger athletes running clean because they are the most affected. I am sure there are so many good examples of athletes who have run and won clean for many years. Most importantly, we can do away with short cuts,” she said.