By John Kwoba NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s Wilson Kipsang has
warned his rivals it will be a race for his life as he seeks to
reclaim the world record at the Berlin marathon on Sept. 24.
The former Olympic
bronze medalists, 35, was overlooked in Kenya’s selection for
the London World Championships and has now confirmed he will
join Olympic Champion Eliud Kipchoge in the Berlin Marathon next
“The world marathon
record must fall in September this year. I will be running in
the race and my focus will be on setting a new mark. This year,
I only participated in few races and after I missed out on the
squad to London, I focused my energy on making an impact in
Berlin,” he said.
Kipsang has run
under 2:05:00 six times. “My training has been good and I have
finalized the hard training. I’m ready to face the other
competitors and my focus will be to run my personal best and
even break the world record,” said Kipsang.
Kipsang who won the
2013 Berlin Marathon in 2:03:23, besting countryman Patrick
Makau’s world record of 2:03:38, which was also set in Berlin.
Next to claim the
title was Denis Kimetto of Kenya who became the first man to run
a sub-2:03 marathon with an eye popping 2:02:57
Berlin has had a
stranglehold on the men’ s marathon world record for the past 13
years. It’s been lowered six times in Berlin-and nowhere
else-since Paul Tergat ran a then-record 2:04:55 there in 2003.
The women’s marathon world record was twice broken in Berlin (in
1999 and 2001).
Kipchoge, who missed
narrow to become the first man to run under two hours in Monza
Italy in May will attack the world marathon record of 2:02:57
set by compatriot Dennis Kimetto in Berlin.
“I was very close to
breaking the 2 hour barrier in Monza. Now I believe Berlin is
the perfect venue for attacking the official world record,” said
currently the best marathon runner in the world. He is only the
second Kenyan man to win Olympic gold after the late Sammy
Wanjiru, who triumphed in Beijing in 2008.
Kipchoge has ran the
second fastest marathon in history with a course record 2:03:05
at the 2016 London Marathon. Kipchoge is also the first man to
win four consecutive marathon major races in a row.
In his first eight
marathons, his only loss came when he was second behind Wilson
Kipsang’s world record at the 2013 Berlin marathon.
The Kenyan knows all
about the Berlin course after he won in 2015, running 2:00;00
despite the insoles of his running shoes flapping for much of
Two years previously
he finished second in Berlin with another impressive time,
2:04:05 while his compatriot Wilson Kipsang broke the world
record with 2:03:23. Kipchoge’s personal best is 2:03:05, set
when he won London in 2016.
Kenya’s javelin star Yego up
for challenge at Monaco Diamond League meeting
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s javelin world champion and Olympic silver
medalist Julius Yego said Thursday that his performance has
improved as he heads to Monaco for the Diamond League meeting on
Yego has had a poor
season ever since he returned from Rio Olympics with an ankle
injury and has had to contend with bad throws in the last three
events he has competed in this season.
But ahead of the
Monaco meeting, Yego hopes to reassert his authority in his
discipline and reclaim lost ground.
“It is about how my
body feels. There has been good response since I started
training. But I have to be careful and that is why I take one
day at a time. Monaco will be another step for me and hopefully,
I will do well,” he said.
The men’s javelin
could be a telling event given the presence of the two Germans
who have seized the event by its neck in the space of the past
Thomas Rohler has been consistently in 90-metre territory this
season, having opened with 93.90m at the IAAF Diamond League
meeting in Doha.
But his place behind
Jan Zelezny on the world all-time list was taken by compatriot
Johannes Vetter, who produced four 90-metre throws on a single
night in Lucerne on July 11, the best of them being 94.44m.
Also in the field
are Yego, and 2012 Olympic champion Keshorn Walcott of Trinidad
and Tobago, as well as the Czech Republic’s Jakub Vadlejch, who
has a best of 88.02m this season.
In the 800m race,
Olympic and world champion Caster Semenya has been unbeatable
this season, but the Monaco field includes all those most likely
to challenge her, including the Olympic silver and bronze
medallists, Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi and Margaret Wambui of
Kenya, as well as Canada’s world silver medallist Melissa Bishop
and the U.S. pair of 2013 world silver medallist Brenda Martinez
and US champion Ajee Wilson.
race for Africa will be the women’s 3000m, which brings together
Kenya’s Olympic 5000m silver medallist Hellen Obiri, Ethiopia’s
Olympic and World 10,000m record holder Almaz Ayana and Britain’
s European indoor 1500m and 3000m champion Laura Muir, 12 days
after their rousing contest over the mile in London which saw
Obiri set a national record of 4:16.56 and Muir register a
personal best of 4:18.03.
It will be Ayana’s
first competition this year after injury. Ayana will run against
Obiri in the shorter 3000 metres alongside Laura Muir and
Shannon Rowbury. However, the race will miss the sparks of
Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba.
3000m steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto faces a field that
includes Olympic silver medallist Evan Jager of the United
States and his two leading Kenyan rivals, Jairus Birech and
35-year-old double Olympic champion Ezekiel Kemboi.
biggest challenge may be the ankle problem that caused him to
drop out early from the race in Rabat last week.
champion Matt Centrowitz will have a rigorous test against top
Kenyans including Timothy Cheruiyot, 21, who leads this season’
s world list with 3:30.77, and Ronald Kwemoi, second in the
world this year with a 3:30.89 at altitude.
Also lurking in the
field with something to prove is Kenya’s three-time world
champion Asbel Kiprop.
Kenya needs to commit more
resources on field events
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
A senior official at Athletics Kenya (AK) said
Wednesday the country should commit more resources in field
events if the country hopes to increase its medal haul in the
sport at the international arena.
Barnaba Korir, who
is in charge of youth development at the national organization,
told Xinhua in Nairobi that it is time the country stopped
relying on the traditional long and middle distance races and
diversified to other events.
“The country does
not invest anything on Kenyan runners of middle and long
distance events because of the mistaken belief that they are
naturally talented. But that does not mean that it should also
do the same for field events,” Korir said.
“The seriousness of
a nation in matters pertaining to sports is adjudged by how much
capital it commits in developing its young generation. My plea
for money to be channeled towards field events for the youth
fell on deaf ears and now the results are there for all to see,”
Korir, who was the
team manager of the Kenyan team during the recently-concluded
World Under 18 Athletics Championships that was held in Nairobi,
said the country lacked runners in pole vault, high jump, shot
put and discus because there are no coaches for the events.
“As much as we call
ourselves a sporting nation, we lack such basic facilities like
landing gear for pole vault and high jump,” he lamented.
“Our high jumpers
clear the bar using the scissor kick instead of the back flip.
How does one expect them to employ the latter style and land on
a sand pit with their backs, hence the old-fashioned way,” Korir
The former long
distance runner debunked the myth that Kenyan runners win races
because of natural talent.
“Talent is an inborn
quality that will only carry one so far, but it is futile unless
you go for it. Kenyan runners work hard because hard work beats
talent when talent fails to work hard,” he said philosophically,
adding that that is reason enough for Kenyans to work hard in