Nairobi, June 5: London marathon champion Mary Keitany will have a point to prove as she takes on Boston winner Edna Kiplagat for the New York Mini 10km road race on the weekend.
Keitany, who has snubbed the chance to compete at the World Athletics Championships in London in August, will on Saturday be keen to show the selectors she is in her best form and a lesson for the selectors omitting her out of the Rio Olympics, reports Xinhua news agency.
“I am in good shape and focused on delivering good performances this season. My decision to skip the world championships was informed by my management and was annoyed when they left me out of Rio. Now I have chance to decide the course to run and the performance to attain,” said Keitany.
Kiplagat, on the other hand, is expected to carry the country’s hopes in London and will use the race as part of her training for the World Championships aiming for her third win after victories in Moscow, and Daegu (South Korea).
Both have the experience winning the New York Mini with Keitany’s victory coming in 2015 and Kiplagat’s in 2012.
The pair headlines a collection of professional athletes from 10 different countries including 11 Olympians in what was the world’s first road race exclusively for women when it started in 1972.
Other notable participants scheduled to compete include Kenyans Joyce Chepkirui and Betsy Saina, Ethiopian Mamitu Daska, Briton Jo Pavey and US participants Natosha Rogers, Amy Van Alstine and Caroline Williams.
Keitany, 35, is the three-time defending champion of the New York Marathon, having last won in November to become the first athlete to score three straight victories since Grete Waitz, who won five in a row from 1982 to 1986.
This past April, she broke the marathon world record for a women’s only race by 41 seconds when she won the London Marathon for the third time. At her NYRR New York Mini 10K debut in 2015, she won in 31:15 minutes.
Kiplagat, 37, of Kenya, won her Boston Marathon debut this April, adding to an already impressive resume of big city marathons. She won her New York City Marathon debut in 2010 and is a two-time IAAF World Championships gold medallist.
Runners will vie for a first-place prize of $10,000 as part of the $35,150 prize purse.