At 33, New York Marathon champion Wilson Kipsang has been involved in every battle and competition but, there is one medal he yearns to add to his collection; gold from World Championships.

Kipsang, who will lead Kenya’s onslaught at the Beijing World Championships next month, has pledged to bag gold, as he seeks to reclaim the world title from Uganda’s Stephen Kiprotich. “One of the few things lacking in my career is a medal at the World Championships. This is why I am focusing on becoming world marathon champion. “The conditions in Beijing are going to be very tough because of the heat and humidity. That is why I started training in similar conditions to get used to the climate,” said Kipsang. Three years ago in London, Kipsang was helpless as Ugandan Stephen Kiprotich, the reigning world champion, raced past him for the gold medal. Abel Kirui won silver. After that show, Kipsang now wants to change that in Beijing. “At the start, I want to have a strong body with power and remain hydrated during the race. If I can accomplish this, I think I will have a good chance to bring back a gold medal for Kenya,” he said.

Head coach Julius Kirwa said he has a strong team that can reclaim the title from the Ugandan. “I was in their camp on Tuesday and they were all happy. We have harmonized their training and we will look forward to doing well in Beijing,” said Kirwa.

Kipsang, who is a two-time London marathon winner, says he has not been in a good shape in his last five races. He was beaten into second place by compatriot Eliud Kipchoge at the London marathon in April, and finished fourth and fifth in New York and the Czech Republic in half-marathon races. “It has been a very busy year for me so far,” said Kipsang, who is one of the star athletes in the ongoing 836 kilometre “walk for peace” relay, organised by former Commonwealth champion John Kelai. Kenya will name its final three member team on August 1.

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