BY KEITH McGHIE
Kenyan girls take first two positions in marathon
There was double delight for Kenya in the women’s marathon at the Commonwealth Games with Flomena Cheyech Daniel and Caroline Kilel hitting gold and silver despite an arduous journey even getting to Scotland.
The duo dominated the two-lapped race around Glasgow’s city centre and at one stage admitted to working as a team to shake off the opposition before Daniel’s strength told in the closing stages.
But both only arrived in the Scottish host city on Friday after a marathon of a different kind – a 24-hour trip from home including three flights. Unable to get a direct connection at Amsterdam, they were forced to fly in via Cardiff in Wales and then on to Glasgow.
However there were few signs of jet-lag as Daniel, who won the Paris Marathon last April, ensured 2014 would be the greatest year of her life by becoming only the second Kenyan to win Commonwealth gold in the eight stagings since the inaugural women’s marathon was held at the 1986 Games in Edinburgh – an edition Kenya and many African nations boycotted.
Daniel succeeds compatriot Irene Jerotich, who won in India four years ago, after finishing in a time of 2:26:45. Visually exhausted but elated, Daniel commented: “I am very happy to have won and thrilled that Kenya have both of their runners on the podium.
“We were running together and trying to help each other in the early stages of the race.” The two Kenyans and Namibia’s Helalia Johannes moved clear of the rest at about 15km but Daniel and 2011 Berlin Marathon Champion Kilel found themselves out front on their own as they approached the closing stages.
Kilel finally fell away, leaving Daniel to win by 25 seconds, then embraced her fellow country-woman in congratulations after the race before explaining:
“This is the first time that I have run here so it is wonderful to get a silver medal “We were running together and I was enjoying the run but in the last two kilometres I was dead.”
An elated Australian Jess Trengrove smashed her lifetime best to take the bronze medal in a time of 2:30:12 as Johannes eventually faded to fifth. Kenya’s third scheduled representative Phyllis Ongori was forced to withdraw a couple of weeks ago through injury.
Courtesy of the-star.co.ke