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Keitany shifts focus after New York Marathon cancellation

Monday June 29 2020
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President Uhuru Kenyatta (left) awards the Order of the Grand Warrior of Kenya (OGW) to marathoner Mary Jepkosgei Keitany at the Jamhuri Day celebrations garden party at State House, Nairobi on December 12, 2019. PHOTO | PSCU

By BERNARD ROTICH

Former New York Marathon champion Mary Keitany is pondering her next move following the cancellation of the New York Marathon due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Keitany was looking to reclaim her title which she lost to compatriot Joyciline Jepkosgei last year.

Keitany settled for silver. She said that she is disappointed by the cancellation of this year’s “Big Apple” after she had dropped the Boston Marathon in April. 

"I was supposed to race in the Boston Marathon, however, owing to a nagging injury I skipped the race because I had not prepared well,” she told Nation Sport at the weekend. 

"My focus shifted to the New York Marathon. I wanted to redeem the title I lost last year, but now that has to wait until next year," a disappointed Keitany said. 

Defending men’s champion Geoffrey Kamworor also said that he was equally disappointed.

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But he added that he respected the authorities, saying life matters more during this period of coronavirus. 

Kamworor, 28, suffered another major setback when he was knocked down by a speeding motorcycle while on his morning run in Eldoret on Thursday morning. He sustained leg and head injuries.

He underwent surgery the St Luke’s Hospital in Eldoret on Thursday and was discharged on Saturday.

“I respect the decision by the authorities to postpone the race. That means we need to get ready for next year because the virus has disrupted the sporting calendar,” Kamworor said prior to the accident last week.

“I’m looking forward to celebrating a marathon weekend in 2021," the three-time World Half Marathon Championships title holder said.

This year’s New York Marathon was cancelled last week alongside the Berlin Marathon.

Chicago and London marathons are the only races in the World Marathon Major Series that remain on the cards. 

The Boston Marathon was cancelled for the first time it its 124-year history.

The London race which had earlier been planned for  April 26 was moved to October 4. Chicago will, hopefully, run as scheduled on October 11.

While announcing the cancellation of the New York Marathon last week, president and chief executive officer of the race organisers, the New York Road Runners, Michael Capiraso said in a statement:  "Cancelling this year's New York City Marathon is incredibly disappointing for everyone involved, but it was clearly the course we needed to follow from a health and safety perspective."

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