The Star (Nairobi)

23 January 2013

Kenya: Kipsang Set for London

Defending champions already training in Iten and Eldoret marathon title defence. Olympic marathon bronze medallist Wilson Kipsang will defend his London marathon title in April.

Kipsang said he had started training in Iten and Eldoret for the event and is confident he will regain his title."It wont be easy but I'm ready for battle with whoever I will be facing," Kipsang added.

He however, expects a highly competitive field in London. In the list of entries are the likes of fellow KenyansEmmnauel Mutai, double world champion Abel Kirui, three-time champion Martin Lel. Tsegaye Kebede will be leading the Ethiopian challenge.

"The marathons have become competitive. All the big names will be there in London and it promises to be a tough fight," Kipsang added.

Kipsang said he had recovered from the disappointment of the Olympic Games in London where he settled for bronze. Kipsang had looked on course to winning the marathon gold after a blistering start only to fade away in the closing stages losing to Uganda's Stephen Kiprotich.

"It was disappointing to lose the marathon like that but such things happen in life and next time I have to approach it tactically," Kipsang said.

Kipsang noted the hot conditions took a toll on him. This time he intends to change strategy in championship races."I have to change my strategy because if you kick early you run the risk of getting swallowed at the end," he added.

Kipsang said he would love to represent the country at the world championships in Moscow, Russia in August."It will be a good opportunity to represent the country again and I hope I will get selected," Kipsang added.

Kipsang who clocked 2:04.44 in winning the London marathon last year, said he will be aiming to go under 2:04."Its possible I can ran a 2:03 but of course the conditions have to be right. I know its possible and it will be my target for London," he concluded.

Meanwhile, the stage is set for the districts cross country championships in Western province on January 26.Athletics Kenya Western branch chairman Henry Alukhaba said the districts will line up at their respective venues in Teso, Busia, Mt. Elgon, Lugari, Bungoma,Vihiga and Kakamega.

The Teso event will be at Malaba Stadium. Others are Mt Elgon (Kapsokwony High), Busia (Busia stadium), Lugari (Lumakanda township), Kakamega (ASK Show), Bungoma (Webuye airstrip), Vihiga (Chavakali High) and Butere/Mumias (Mumias Municipality market).

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