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Karoki itches to take on top runners on debut at London marathon

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- After a decade competing on track, World Half Marathon silver medallist Bedan Karoki of Kenya feels he is ready to take a leap in faith and seek redemption in the ultimate distance, the marathon.

Karoki, 26, has penciled the London marathon in April to make his debut in big city marathon and hopes his performance will be good enough to enter him in the elite squad of top runners over the 42km distance.

“I hope it will be a good performance. I have no intentions to focus on other competitions but the London marathon in April,” he said.

This rules him out of seeking to improve on the silver medal he won in Guiyang, China in 2015 during the World Cross Country Championships. This year’s World Cross Country Championships will be held on March 26 in Kampala.

This will however, not water down Kenya team to the Kampala event with reigning champion Geoffrey Kamwaror ready to put his title on the line assisted by steeplechase big guns Conseslus Kipruto and Jairus Birech.

The women’s team will be led by defending champion Agnes Tirop, who is returning from two -year injury hiatus and Olympic 1,500m champion Faith Kipyego.

But for Karoki, his focus is on having a fast time at the London marathon on April 26, which will be used as a selection event for Kenya to the London World Championships in August.

“It is good to have a plan and I want to make the transition be as easy as possible for myself from track to the marathon world,” he said.

Karoki will also race in the Eldoret Discovery Cross Country on Jan. 22 and in the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon on 10 February but will miss the Kenyan cross country championships, opting to “offer other athletes a chance to run the World Cross Country Championships.”

Even though a full marathon debut is in the pipeline, Karoki is still hoping to make the Kenyan 10,000m team for the World Championships in London.

“I feel I’m mentally and physically strong for full marathon and I should also double on track just as my good friend Geoffrey Kamworor, who has done it so well,” he said.

           

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