What you need to know:
- She started the 2019 season well, winning the second edition of Eldoret City Marathon in April in 2:27:17 ahead of Vivian Kiplagat (2:28:06) and Elizabeth Rumokol (2:33:01).
- In September, Aiyabei defended her Kabarak Half Marathon title in 1:15.1. She won the 2019 Frankfurt Marathon in a time of 2:19:10.
Reigning Frankfurt Marathon champion Valary Jemeli is banking on solid preparation to perform better in Sunday’s London Marathon.
London Marathon, the second event in the 2021 Abbot World Marathon Majors, takes place on Sunday and Jemeli, who finished 10th in last year’s edition of the race after timing 2 hours, 28 minutes and 18 seconds, reckons she has prepared better for this year’s competition.
Better still, this year’s race will be held on a straight course, unlike last year when it was held on a loop, something which troubled Jemeli.
“I competed in the London Marathon last year it was a challenge going through the loop. I’m not used to that. Perhaps a loop favours athletes who have competed in cross country races before. Nevertheless, I’m delighted to go back there. This time round the course is different and I look forward to a better performance,” Jemeli told Nation Sport Sunday in Iten in Elgeyo Marakwet County, after her training session.
She feels better prepared for the race.
“Last year, it was impossible to have group training sessions. We trained for races individually due to health protocols in place to check he spread of Covid-19. However, this year has been different. I feel better prepared because I have had group training sessions with other athletes,”Jemeli said.
The women’s race will feature, among others, defending champion Brigid Kosgei who is also the world record holder in marathon, and New York Marathon champion Joyciline Jepkosgei.
From Ethiopia, there will be Roza Dereje who has a personal best of 2:18:30, Brihane Dibaba (2:18:35), Degitu Azimeraw (2:19:26), Zeineba Yimer (2:19:28), among others.
Jemeli has been training for the last three months, covering up to 200 kilometres a week.
“It’s great to have a chance of competing against the world’s top athletes like Brigid and Joyciline. I’m still growing in the distance and I have a lot to learn from them,” she said.
In 2016, Aiyabei won the Barcelona Marathon, and went on to win the 2017 Prague Marathon. She won the 2018 Beijing Marathon.
She started the 2019 season well, winning the second edition of Eldoret City Marathon in April in 2:27:17 ahead of Vivian Kiplagat (2:28:06) and Elizabeth Rumokol (2:33:01).
In September, Aiyabei defended her Kabarak Half Marathon title in 1:15.1. She won the 2019 Frankfurt Marathon in a time of 2:19:10.