Mutai keen to end wait for a win

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Published: Thursday 23rd April 2015 by The News Editor

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Geoffrey Mutai’s resume lists almost every major marathon in the world, but London is still missing and the Kenyan says he has special motivation to fix that on Sunday.

The 33-year-old, a winner in Boston, Berlin, New York and in the World Marathon Majors series, leads a star-studded field into the 35th edition of the race, but if he is to match his countrymen Wilson Kipsang – the defending champion – and world record holder Dennis Kimetto, he must find his form on the streets of the capital for the first time.

In 2013 he dropped out with a hamstring problem at the 30-kilometre mark, while last year he was short of form and had to settle for sixth.

“I have won in Boston, Berlin and New York, but the win I still want is this one,” Mutai said on the marathon website.

“The fact that I have not done well here before is my main motivation now. It is what keeps me running and makes me want to come back.

“The London Marathon is more important to me now than the Olympics because it is more challenging…

“If I don’t win this year I will come back again and again until I do, because this title is not something you can get easily. I will fight until my day comes.”

With 2011 champion Emmanuel Mutai, 2014 runner-up Stanley Biwott, and 2014 Rotterdam and Chicago Marathon winner Eliud Kipchoge also on the start line, the race will feature the three quickest men in history and five of the all-time top 10.

Kipsang and Kimetto have never raced head-to-head before, and defending champion Kipsang said he expects his biggest challenge to come from his training partner.

“I’m expecting a big challenge from Dennis,” said Kipsang, who set the London course record in two hours four minutes and 29 seconds last year.

“I broke the world record in Berlin in 2013, then he broke the record last year. This is the first time we’ve met in a marathon but we’ve met in half marathons before.

“I’ve beaten him once [in Olomouc, the Czech Republic in 2014] and he’s beaten me once [in Ras Al Khaimah in 2012]. I have more experience in marathons but he has done very well in the few he’s done.”

Kipsang, who also won in London in 2012, is expecting a tactical race given the strength of the field.

“My main aim is not the world record but to retain the title and run a good time,” he said. “With this kind of field, it will be a fast race and more tactical.

“We will start to keep the pace up and then we’ll see what happens. The main thing is it’s a very fast race so it’s about how you’ve prepared yourself and how you approach it.

“I analyse the other competitors and try to develop a race plan. There are new guys racing here this year so you always need to have a flexible approach.”

Published: Thursday 23rd April 2015 by The News Editor

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