NAIROBI, Kenya, April 23 – Boston Marathon champion Salina Kosgei believes her change in tactics in the closing stages of the race helped her secure victory at one of the world’s famous marathon.
Kosgei who crossed the finish line in a time of 2:32:16 said on Thursday that the formidable strength of former winner Ethiopian Dire Tune put doubts in her mind as to whether she could win the race.
“With 50m remaining everyone was exhausted. But then I decided to sprint and I won,” said Kosgei who is also a Commonwealth gold medal winner.
“Tune was stronger than me but I used tricks to outwit her and I did not believe that I would make it until I broke that tape,” she added.
Kosgei said that the chilly weather coupled with the terrain made the race much tougher with the challenges increasing as the race wore on.
“At the start it was very cold. The race was much tougher than that of the men,” said Kosgei.
“The race was slow until the 35 km mark when everyone started to speed up upto the last two kilometers which was then an all out sprint to the finish,” she added.
Kosgei also credited her win to the amount of training she did in the lead up to the stress.
“The whole week I was very relaxed, I wasn’t stressed at all. On the day I wasn’t really thinking about winning so the tension wasn’t there,” said the mother of four.
The 32 year old finished the race a second ahead of Tune in an exciting climax to the race with home favourite Kara Goucher who led for the most part of the course finishing third in a time of 2:32:25.
Kosgei together with men’s winner Deriba Merga of Ethiopia pocketed Sh12 million each in prize money.
Kosgei was speaking after she was feted at Kenya prisons headquarters where she was escorted by her husband Barnabas Kinyor.
“We are proud of you because you have represented our country well and also because held the name of Kenya Prisons in high esteem,” said Isaiah Osugo.
Kosgei said she is also looking forward to being selected for the this year’s World Athletics Championships in Berlin.
“That decision will rest with the team selectors but it is definitely something I’m looking forward to,” said Kosgei who finished tenth in the Beijing Olympics marathon.