Linet Masai unmoved by stellar cast for London Marathon

The 2009 World 10,000m champion Linet Masai is unmoved by the strong field that awaits her as she prepares for her maiden London Marathon race on April 28. The 29-year-old has been named in this year’s race strong line up that comprises of defending champion Vivian Cheruiyot, New York City marathon champion Mary Keitany, Berlin Marathon champion Gladys Cherono and Chicago Marathon champion Brigid Kosgei. Masai said she is excited to be making her London Marathon debut which will also be the second 42km race she will be participating in after the Amsterdam Marathon last October. “First I am happy to have earned an invitation for the London Marathon which is of course one of the biggest marathons in the world. Furthermore, it is special to me since I will be participating for the first time,” Masai told Citizen Digital. The 2008 Olympic bronze medalist is the only Kenyan in the start list to be making her debut in the race and although on paper she might not be the favourite, she is not shaken by the prospect of coming up against the seasoned athletes. “I know that the competition will be tough but I am only concerned with my own race where I will be hoping to lower my Personal Best (PB),” said Masai. Aside from the Kenyans, the field will also include three-time Olympic champion Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia and compatriots Tadelech Bekele who finished third last year as well as Dubai Marathon champion Roza Dereje. With only 96 days left to the anticipated race, which is one of the six Abbott World Marathon majors , Masai said she has already started her light work-outs and will be participating in a half marathon race to warm up for the London assignment. “I have already started my build-ups and I will be participating in one half marathon race before heading to London,” said Masai. Masai enjoyed a successful stint in track events where she also won bronze in 10,000m at the 2011 World Championships held in Daegu, South Korea before finishing sixth in 5000m at the same event. In Cross Country championships, Masai also enjoyed much success having won gold at the 2007 World Cross Country championships held in Mombasa at the junior category. She later transited to the senior level where she bagged three silvers and a bronze medal in a span of four years (2008-2011). Masai who hails from Mt Elgon but trains at Kaptagat, Uasin Gishu County made her full marathon debut at the 2018 Amsterdam Marathon where she finished fifth clocking 2:23:45.

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