Thursday, April 14, 2011

After injuries, Lel back for London Marathon

However, he's not convinced he'll be the victor because he's been sidelined by injures the last two years.

Lel has been bothered by hip and leg injuries, and only received an invitation to the race after Olympic champion Sammy Wanjiru withdrew because of a knee injury. It's the Kenyan's first London Marathon since winning his third title in 2008.

"The body is different after being out of racing for two years," said Lel, who asked organizers to let him run when his form improved. "I have told myself, 'Let me go and try.' I can only say I am happy to be here. ... I did not lose hope (because) I could feel in my training that I still have potential."

Lel set a course record of 2 hours, 5 minutes, 15 seconds in 2008, when he earned his second straight win and third in four years. Wanjiru shaved 5 seconds off that time the following year, and Lel said he doesn't expect to challenge the mark this year.

"For me, my (goal) is to feel I tried my best on Sunday," he said.