When Joyce Chepchumba and Margaret Okayo sat next to each other at
yesterday’s Flora London Marathon press conference, it was the closest
the pair have been since the latter made her marathon debut in Chicago in 1999.
Okayo thought she had the race won that day only for Chepchumba, who had
fallen earlier in the race, to outsprint her for a one second victory.
Okayos Athens bound but Chepchumba is not
The two Kenyans go head-to-head on Sunday with the London race spiced up by
the fact one has been selected for the Olympic marathon in Athens while the
Chepchumba competed in the last two Olympic marathons, and even took bronze
four years ago in Sydney, but unless things dramatically change between now and
August she will have to watch this year’s race on television, while Okayo
lines up among the favourites in the Greek capital.
Chepchumba admits she is disappointed to be left out, but admits: “I
have achieved a lot of success as a marathon runner so it doesn’t bother
me as much as it might have done in the past. I have been to two Olympics and I
have a medal from Sydney, so if the federation decide not to send me that is
“I have no problem with them selecting Catherine (Ndereba, the world
champion) or Margaret, but the other girl (Alice Chelagat, who won the
inaugural Nairobi Marathon last year) has not run as fast as many of us other