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Mutai looks to defend despite recent illness

Emmanuel Mutai - London 2011

Emmanuel Mutai - London 2011

Emmanuel Mutai is determined to defend his London Marathon title on Sunday, despite contracting typhoid last month.

The Kenyan missed some training after catching the fever a month ago, but he needs to set a good time to earn his place on his country’s Olympic team.

“I had a fever a few weeks ago, and was under medication, but I am feeling better now and my recovery has been good. I will try my best,” he said.

The 27-year-old set a course record in winning the race last year.

However, he is one of six Kenyan athletes, including world record holder Patrick Makau and world champion Abel Kirui, who are on a provisional list competing for the three places on the team at the London Games. Kenyan selectors will name their final three for the Olympics at the end of April.

“The selection is challenging, but I think if I can finish in the top three here I will qualify,” said Mutai, who won last year with a time of two hours, four minutes and 39 seconds.

“For me this will definitely be a tougher competition than last year because the field is so strong.

“Everyone has run a good time so I will have to perform at my best.”

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