Silas Kiplagat is optimistic that Kenya is capable of retaining the 1,500m Olympic title when the 30th edition of the Summer Games takes place in London later this month.
Speaking at the teams training camp at the Moi, Kasarani yesterday, Kiplagat said the team that includes defending champion Asbel Kiprop and Nixon Chepseba is currently formulating ways of ensuring that they all reach the final of the four-lap event. "The most important thing is to reach the final," said Kiplagat.
" From here, we will then strategise on how to make a repeat of the 2004 Athens steeplechase where Brimin Kipruto, Ezekiel Kemboi and Paul Kipsiele Koech brought home a 1-2-3 sweep." "It's a great honour to be in the Olympics. It's something that each and every athlete would want to do and now that I am in the team, I will work hard to see to it that I bring home a medal." "It is still early to predict who will win since there is the first round, the second and the final."
The world silver medallist hopes to correct the mistake he did in Daegu. He said: "In Daegu, I did a very silly mistakes and I am to correct them." He believes the race will be a tough, saying: "All those athletes who have been selected (from various countries) are top athletes and we can't say that we are the best (here in Kenya)."
Commenting on the controversy surrounding the team's early departure for London, Kiplagat said: "This is a question that has been asked for a long time and I don't think it should arise again. "I just think they (officials) should allow us to train here until the final day. If there is any other issue it should be sorted out by the management team. We don't want to hear it again about such these issues." He said it is a heartbreak to train so hard only to hear issues regarding travel crop up.