NAIROBI, April 28 – After surrendering Kenya’s four-year dominance of the London Marathon women’s race on Sunday, 2013 champion Priscah Jeptoo has singled out lack of teamwork cost them the title collected by Ethiopian newcomer Tigist Tufa.
The ‘fantastic four’ of defending champion, Edna Kiplagat, two-time winner Mary Keitany, World Half marathon record holder Florence Kiplagat and Jeptoo failed to stamp their authority at the cagey race that saw Tigist stun the Kenyans in the closing stages when she pulled clear of the field to win in 2:23:21.
Keitany was18 seconds in arrears with another Ethiopian, Tirfi Tsegay (2:23:41) closing the podium as the Kenyan force faded from pre-race favourites to also runs.
Jeptoo, who spoke upon arrival from London, said she sensed danger at halfway mark when her compatriots failed to up the pace and break up the large leading group despite all having run under 2:20.
“It was a big disappointment, it was a strong field we all had good times but we were just moving together as a pack for so long. No one could break up and we knew there was a problem until the Ethiopians decided to open at 35km.
“I think each one of us had her own problem but no one wanted to speak. I was looking at the time at half way when we were still running in a pack and knew it will complicate things because we are used to open the gap early. Even in training we can’t run like this,” Jeptoo a silver medallist at 2012 Olympic Games and 2011 Daegu World Championships explained.
Jeptoo who finished seventh in 2:25:01 behind Jemima Sumgong and Florence Kiplagat blamed her poor performance to the rainy and cold weather that aggravated her back injury.
“London was good because the men did us proud but for us (women) we didn’t perform according to our expectations because the weather was not favourable as we expected but I’m happy Keitany finished second.
“Most of us are faster runners and when it rains it become very difficult to increase the pace but if it could have been warm it could have been better. I injured my back last year and it has never healed so it really let me down,” 30-year-old Jeptoo claimed.