Olympic dreams over, Kenyan racer targets Berlin Marathon

July 11th, 2012 - 5:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Nairobi, July 11 (IANS) Having failed to qualify for the London Olympics marathon, world’s fastest road racer Geoffrey Mutai is ready to answer his critics with an attempt at the world record in Berlin in September.

Overlooked by Kenyan selectors because he did not race in Boston, US, owing to high temperatures, Mutai has been on the defence of his decision and believes Berlin will be his answer.

“I have to say, many expected me to run in London, but it was never to be. Now I have to move on and will be running in Berlin and hopefully will register a faster time,” Mutai was quoted as saying by Xinhua in Eldoret.

Mutai, who produced the fastest ever marathon time last year in Boston, will be returning to Berlin Marathon slated for Sep 30 since his last participation in 2010, where he was a silver medallist.

Six months after his victory in Boston, Mutai ran in New York Marathon and set a fast time of 2:05:06, winning the race and crushing the former course record of 2:07:43, which had stood since 2001.

The current world record stands at 2:03:38, set by Kenyan Patrick Makau at the Berlin Marathon in 2011.

“We are pleased to have Geoffrey Mutai run at Berlin Marathon,” said race director Mark Milde in an email statement. “He is one of the best athletes in the world and will have the opportunity to prove it on the fast Berlin course.”

Surprisingly, Mutai was not nominated to participate in the Olympic marathon team in London. Makau was also sidelined. Mutai regards this decision as a challenge to run a strong race in Berlin.

“I am familiar with the Berlin course and know that you can run very fast there. If the weather is good, there is nothing in the way of a fast time,” said Mutai.

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