Returning champions Mary Keitany and Emmanuel Mutai yesterday took to the stage to kick off preparations for Sundays Virgin London Marathon.
Emmanuel Mutai, who ran 2:04:40 in 2011 to set a new course record, admitted that his training had suffered slightly in March as he was struck down with a fever, but he was feeling better now. Speaking in the press conference the Kenyan also said that the field was very strong and that he needed to work hard to defend the title.
Mary Keitany, returning after winning last year s event, in a time of 2:19:19, admitted that Sunday would be competitive but she was ready to defend her title. With her running partner Sharon Cherop wining Boston, in a time of 2:31:50, Keitany took it as a good sign that her training had been going well. Sharon motivates me, added the reigning champion.
With the London Olympics just 100 days away both athletes said that they hoped top three in Sundays event would be enough to secure Olympic qualification for their countrys Marathon team, but were taking nothing for granted.