The Star (Nairobi)

20 March 2013

Kenya: Kirui Eyes Mark

TWO-time world marathon champion Abel Kirui hopes to shatter the 42-km world record of 2:03:38 set by fellow Kenyan Patrick Makau in 2011.

Kirui said he wants to use the world stage to do something unique just as it was the case of the current world 800 metre record holder David Rudisha at the London Olympic Games last year when he smashed the world record

"I am in good shape and I want to use London Marathon next month to gauge my speed," he said. He noted that it isn't possible for the record to be broken in London because the race is usually tactical.

" London has always attracted the best marathoners and it is difficult to go for the record here as we tend to size up each other throughout the race," he noted. "All I know is that I can break the record this year and I want to use the World Championship forum in Moscow, Russia to do that-- hoping I will make the team," said Kirui, adding: "But first things first and I will need to make the team first."

"Making the team is difficult because we have the best marathoners in the world but I am hopeful I will make the team," added Kirui

Kirui, who won the World marathon Championships in Berlin, Germany (2009) and Daegu-Korea (2011), will line up at London alongside--Makau (2:03.38), reigning London champion and Olympic bronze medallist, Wilson Kipsang (2:03.42) and World Marathon Majors winner, Geoffrey Mutai (2:03.02). Mutai, who won Berlin Marathon last year, will be making his maiden stab at the London title this year, having won New York and Chicago Marathons in 2011.

Other top names are--three-time London Marathon champion Martin Lel (2:05:15) and former London Marathon winner Emmanuel Mutai (2:04:40).

Chicago Marathon champion, Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia (2:04:38) and Olympic champion Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda (2:07:20) will be the other athletes to watch.

Kirui said his priority this year is not only to win both London and Moscow but also to set the world record at the global stage. Athletics Kenya (AK) will use the London Marathon as a yardstick to pick the national team to Moscow.

"I am set for the Moscow event and I am ready to face the world and prove that I can claim the gold medal that slipped through my fingers at the London Olympics last year. But before the championships, I will race in London on April 21," said Kirui, who trains under Italian coach Renato Canova.

The 31-year-old Olympic silver medallist said he was very confident of a success year considering the kind of intensive training he has undergone under his coach.

The runner, who hails from Samitui-Chelemei village is currently training at Iten but occasionally shifts to Nandi Hills for long runs.

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