Seventy five days to the 2015 IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China, Olympic marathon bronze medalist and immediate former record holder Wilson Kipsang is taking precautions to ensure Ugandan Stephen Kiprotich does not spoil the Kenyan party for the third time in four years.
Kiprotich (in)famously won gold in the 2012 London Olympics and 2013 Moscow World Championships ahead of the highly favoured Kenyan cast comprising Kipsang and two-time world marathon champion Abel Kirui.
As the next championship showdown looms, Kipsang who warmed up to the Beijing duel with a second-place finish in London Marathon is careful in his preparation well aware of the threat posed by Kiprotich.
Athletics Kenya has assembled a provisional six-man marathon team led by record holder Dennis Kimetto and Kipsang for the marathon. Probed on the threat posed by Kiprotich, he said: “Kiprotich is a big championship runner and his confidence is very high having won the last two major events.
Our approach must be very watertight or else he might get it again but this year we have to show the world that we are the best in marathon.” Kipsang is confident the gold medal will be won a Kenyan but says individual preparation is key to the joint effort by the three participants who will be selected.
“Sometimes we burn ourselves out before these championships because of taking part in many road races in the run. I don’t want to fall in that trap so this year, before Beijing, I just want to take part in one half marathon probably in Ostrava,” he said. “Winning a championship takes a lot that’s why I’m competing in these track races to work on my speed. If I get more of such races and the half marathon I think I’ll be ready for Beijing.
The fact that we are competing to make the Kenyan team also spurs me on,” the 33 year-old told People Sport Beside himself and Kimetto in the provisional Kenyan team, relatively experienced Lucas Rotich, Luka Kanda, Mark Korir and Felix Kipchirchir are also contending for the three final slots.
Kenya will only field three athletes in the men’s World Marathon after failing to win the previous edition. The federation, intent on reclaiming bragging rights to the 42km race from neighbours Uganda has allowed the selected athletes ample time to get in shape ahead of the Beijing race.
Experienced coach David Letting told People Sport that the AK technical team is closely monitoring their progress and will shortlist the best three of the six to represent the country.
Courtesy of mediamaxnetwork.co.ke