Ramaala focuses on speed for marathon

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Top South African runner Hendrick Ramaala's preparations for the Flora London Marathon have moved into top gear, with his focus now on speed.

"I started with the preparations for the London Marathon in December. So far, so good," said Ramaala, who turned 35 on February 2.

The down to earth law graduate is planning to better his third-place finishes from the past two marathons.

"I'm familiar with the route; the same applies to all the top runners who have already signed on the dotted line with the organisers," he said.

"It will be a tough marathon this year with the potential of a new world record. The cream of marathon runners will be seen in action at this year's event on April 22."

All eyes in this year's race will be on last year's fastest marathon runner, Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia, and his great rival and world record holder Paul Tergat of Kenya.

Gebrselassie, also known as "The King" in athletics circles, will be returning to London after finishing a disappointing ninth in last year's edition.

Tergat, who set a world record of 2hrs:4min:55sec in Berlin in 2003, did not compete in the London Marathon last year after picking up an injury a few days before the race.

"It will be suicidal to keep an eye [only ]on 'The King' and Tergat. There's also Stefano Baldini and Jaouad Gharib," said Ramaala.