Kenyan running great Mary Keitany has announced her retirement from athletics.
Keitany had a stellar career that saw her win the London Marathon on three occasions and the New York Marathon four times, as well as triumph at the 2009 World Half Marathon Championships.
Keitany, 39, still holds the marathon world record for a women-only race, having clocked a stunning 2:17:01 when winning the third of her London Marathon titles in 2017.
“After my successful 2019, when I had some good results including second place in New York, I was hopeful that I could still be very competitive internationally for several more years even though I am in my late 30s,” said Keitany in a communique sent by her manager Gianni Demadonna.
“However, I’m sad to say, a back injury that I suffered in late 2019 made a decision about my retirement for me. I couldn’t get the treatment I wanted in Europe because of the pandemic-related travel restrictions last year and every time I thought I had got over the injury and started training hard, it became a problem again. So now is the time to say goodbye – if only as an elite runner – to the sport I love so much.”
Keitany first came to global attention in 2007, after local success in Kenya the previous year, with a series of good performances in European half marathons which then earned her a place in the Kenyan team at that year’s World Half Marathon Championships.