ITEN, Kenya – Twice London marathon winner Mary Keitany and world champion Edna Kiplagat have vowed to bring the Olympic gold medal home to their Kenyan highland town of Iten this year.
The two neighbours are back in Iten after dominating Sunday’s London marathon, where they finished first and second to win selection for the London Games.
“It is a great honour to be named to an Olympics team. We must now do our part and bring the first women’s Olympic marathon gold medal to our beloved nation,” Keitany told reporters.
Kiplagat said the pair had run as rivals in London in their bid to make the Olympic team.
“Now that we are in the team, we will use team work as we gun for the medals,” she said.
“We shall take a break for three weeks to recover after competing in London. I will only do light jogging before the programme commences.”
World silver medallists Priscah Jeptoo, who finished third in London, is the other member of the Olympic team.
Meanwhile, world marathon record holder Patrick Makau said he was shocked by his omission from the men’s team after he failed to finish the London race.
Wilson Kipsang, who won on Sunday, and twice world champion Abel Kirui, who finished sixth, will represent Kenya in London along with Moses Mosop who finished third in the Rotterdam marathon this month.
“I thought the world record would get me an Olympic slot, as they (Athletics Kenya) had indicated when they included me in the provisional team. Anyway, it is their decision and I cannot contest it,” said Makau.