BIRMINGHAM, UK, July 30 – Recently crowned Commonwealth Games marathon silver medalist Margaret Wangari has paid tribute to her daughter, Olive “Pilot” Chemtai, for her superb performance in Birmingham.
Wangari said her daughter has never stopped encouraging her to give her best and ensure that she will be on the podium one day.
“I have a message for my family back home but, in particular, for my dear daughter. I want to thank her because she keeps telling me to run hard like Mary Moraa (bronze medalist in the 800 m world) … even yesterday she told me to run like her. Right now she is learning to sing the national anthem,” Wangari said.
“I want to thank everyone at home. On this day, I also remember my late mother who has always been an inspiration to me. I thank my coach…my husband and I are grateful for the support my family has given me to get this far,” she added.
The 2010 Marseille 10k champion clocked 2:28:00 as Australian Jessica Stenson ran away with the gold in 2:27:31.
Namibian Helalias Johanes settled for third place after a time of 2:28:39.
Reflecting on the race, Wangari admitted it was no walk in the park for her given Birmingham’s trying terrain.
“It’s quite difficult… hilly and always curved. There is never a moment when you feel things are looking up. The race was made more difficult by the fact that I was the only Kenyan in the race. If you look at the Aussies, they relied a lot on teamwork. If we had been two or more Kenyans in the race, maybe things would have been easier for us,” she said.
“When you are alone in such a race, it is like you against the world. You will find the other runners pushing and shoving, which makes it difficult to execute your strategy effectively. Bearing these challenges in mind, I thank God for the money,” Wangari added.
The next goal for the 2014 10km champion from Würzburg is to set a new personal best, which currently stands at 2:30:25 – set at the Izmir Marathon in Turkey last year.
“If I manage to get it down to at least 2:25:00, that would be a great achievement,” Wangari concluded.