6 August 2013

Uganda: Kiprotich Sets Sights On Moscow Gold

TWO things have happened in a space of one year to Uganda marathon runners since Stephen Kiprotich won a gold medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Their coach Peter Sang became a sports minister in the Uasin Gishu County, which meant limited supervision while the assistant coach Richard Metu is now handling the Kenyan national team.

Metu was appointed after he coached Kiprotich to beat the Kenyans at the London 2012 Olympics.

But these changes have not affected the spirit of the three Uganda runners, who have set themselves a target of finishing among the top eight at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia.

It might look an uphill target until you watch the trio train at the Kenyan high altitude area of Chirchir, where the Global Communications set up their training camp.

"They have the experience but we have the spirit and focus. We are all helping each other and reacting well," said Kiprotich after a hard morning run on Saturday.

All the athletes training has been impressive with all of them running below 2 hours 10 minutes in the last 42km run, something that got the Kenyans - whose training camp is just metres away - worried.

Kiprotich will combine with Jackson Kiprop and Philip Kiplimo to try and ensure that Uganda finishes top in the marathon and he is confident.

"In London, it was only me that they were focussing on but in Moscow, we will be three and we will plan accordingly," he added.

Kiprop and Kiplimo have only run one marathon, whose times are impressive but they are not worried.

"It is not about time but attitude. We have been running against them and when we hit the road, we will focus," said Kiprop, who won the Mumbai Marathon early this year after being entered as a pace setter.

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