Friday, February 18, 2011

Keitany sets half-marathon record


Mary Keitany's 65:50 women's half-marathon world record run at the Ras-Al-Khaimah event in Dubai was achieved as a result of meticulous pre-race planning.

An elated Gianni Demadonna, her manager, told FeverPitch the intricate strategic process that ensured the talented distance running star obliterated Kenyan born Dutch runner, Lornah Kiplagat’s 66:25 previous all time best over 21km.

"I’m so delighted with her performance. Even though we knew she could achieve it, we did not state that she was going for it before the race since we do not like putting our athletes under pressure to perform," Demadonna said.

"Our plan was to employ a male pace maker capable of completing the course in 66 minutes. She went off very quickly in the first five kilometres but she regulated her pace until the last few kilometres where she went for and got it," he added.

The Italian national continued, "Our plan is to make her a marathoner capable of winning the Olympictitle in 2012 and capable of doing 2:18. We planned for her to do one half marathon before the London Marathon in April where we are targeting a 2:25 performance and she in course for that."

Keitany, who won the World Half Marathon title in 2009 before taking third on her marathon debut in New York last year, has set sights on the national team for the Daegu World Championships in the summer.

Enroute to her victory in Dubai, Keitany also set the world best times over 10miles and 20km and Athletics Kenya (AK) were among the first to congratulate the freshly minted world record holder.