Back on track, Keitani wants more glory

Another talent lost, it certainly seemed, but after her comeback performance in Bangalore on Sunday, that doubt can easily be stashed away. Keitany, surely, is back for more.

The 27-year-old Kenyan finished second behind Ethiopia’s Aselefech Mergia in the elite women’s race at the Sunfeast World 10K, timing 32 minutes and 09 seconds. For someone running her first race after childbirth, it was a fantastic effort.

Light on her feet, Keitany was in the front for most of the race before losing out in the final stages but she took plenty of positives out of this race. “It is very nice to come back,” she said. “It was a good race, the course was pretty flat, the weather was okay, it felt good to be back,” added the Kenyan who has a best of 31.10 on the road.

That came in the first phase of her career, when she was a force to reckon with in road races, mainly on the half-marathon circuit, with three wins coming in 2007 alone. She was also second in the world road running championships that year behind Lornah Kiplagat, who broke the world record then. But marriage to fellow athlete Charles Koech and pregnancy thereafter forced her to rein in her ambitions. The call of the road, however, proved irresistible.

“I started training again only four months back. It was very tough initially. Forty minutes of workout would seem like an hour’s training but I persisted and slowly got better,” she said.

It is her first trip away from her 11-month old son Jared Kipchumba, who is under the care of her husband back in Iten, Kenya. While Keitany is keen to return home to her son, she is also eager to explore more of her hidden talent. “My aim now is to do well in marathon, I think I can do well in the longer race,” she said.

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