The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Kiprop and Karoki Call for Team Tactics in 10,000m

London Olympics-bound 10,000m runners Wilson Kiprop and Bedan Karoki believe it is Kenya's time to bag a gold medal that has been elusive for the last 44 years.

Kiprop said the drought in the event for all those years makes it a challenge for all Kenya's 10,000m team representatives to up their game. "We have been training very well and what we are doing at the moment is to put the final touches on our preps," said Kiprop. "We are very ready." "We hold very high hopes going to London and I am hoping that we will be able to put up a performance synonymous with the national trials in the USA," he said. Kiprop clocked 27:01.98, the fastest 10,000m time on US soil while winning the Kenyan trials staged in Oregon ahead of Karoki and Moses Masai.

However, Kiprop said he is not eyeing the world record but if a Kenyan's gold-winning performance amounts to a new record, then it will be a big bonus. "I have been advocating for team work in the race even before I qualified to represent the country in London and we are going to work like this on race day," said Kiprop. He said team word (with Geoffrey Mutai and Mathew Kisorio) was the biggest ingredient to their 10,000m victory at the 2010 Africa Senior Athletics championships held in Nairobi.

Karoki also observed that it has been his dream to run at the Olympics and is certain to carry Kenya's hope to London. "Carrying the flag of this country to such an event is such a big honour and my colleagues and I will do everything possible to bring home the title if not all the medals," he said. "In the camp, we are working as a family and morale is very high. We are hopeful of surpassing the performances in Beijing." Kenya last won the 10,000m race through Naftali Temu at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. Paul Tergat came close twice, winning silver at the 1996 and 2000 Games and so was Richard Chelimo at the 1992 Barcelona Games.

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