NAIROBI, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) -- Former Paris Marathon champion Betsy Saina feels she is getting better ahead of her debut at the Chicago Marathon on Oct.13.
The 31-year-old hopes to improve on her personal best time of 2:22:56, which she set in winning in Paris last year. It will be her sixth marathon, though she failed to win her first two races in Tokyo and New York back in 2017.
Last year, Saina entered two races winning in Paris and finishing eighth at the Frankfurt Marathon (2:24:35) just one minute and 41 seconds slower than her best time. In 2019, Saina was disappointed not making it to the podium when she was placed tenth at the Boston Marathon timed at 2:30.32.
But speaking from Iten, Saina is adamant she is enjoying her best form having stayed injury free for long and hopes she will end her jinx to win a marathon on the United States soil soon.
I have just had my last long run done, Saina said on Monday. I must be grateful to safely make to the start line without injury. I am so excited to chase down my personal best time in two weeks at Chicago Marathon. I must thank my many fans for their support and can't wait to have fun in the streets of Chicago.
But it will not be a walk in the park for Saina in Chicago. She will be up against defending champion and also London Marathon winner Brigid Kosgei, whose top form has seen her dominate the 42km road race and will eye to challenge the women's world record during the race.
Kosgei, 26, has thrown down the gauntlet running the fastest half marathon time in Newcastle where she won the Great North Run in 64:28 ahead of teammates Magdalyne Masai (67:36), Linet Masai (67:44) and Mary Keitany (67:58).
Kosgei says she is not contended with the win but with the preparations and she is heading to Chicago where she will come up against compatriot Saina and America's Amy Cragg.
Kosgei finished second in Chicago in 2017 and then returned last year, winning with the third-fastest time in Chicago's history in 2:18:35. Kosgei has passed up the chance to race at the ongoing World Championships in Doha, Qatar to focus on Chicago Marathon and says she intends to run at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.