Kampala — There was some prolonged anxiety that Stephen Kiprotich would join Team Uganda camp preparing for the 2017 World Cross-country Championships.
The 2012 Olympic marathon gold medallist was expected to join his teammates for the next weeks in Kapchorwa until March 26 but it will not happen.
Kiprotich has opted to take on special training in Kaptagat in Kenya to prepare for the biennial event as well as for a full marathon due April.
"Kiprotich's program is same as that of 2011 when he finished 6th in World x-country and debuted in marathon," Kiprotich's manager Jurrie van der Velden told this paper yesterday.
Kiprotich took sixth place after posting 34:07 in the senior men's race at the 2011 World x-country in Punta Umbria in Spain on March 20, 2011.
This was the long-distance runner's last x-country event before winning his debut 42km race at the Enschede Marathon in Holland on April 17, 2011.
Since, Kiprotich had not done a similar event until he came fourth in the National Cross-country back in January. He knows what's at stake.
"Cross-country is one of my favourite races and I enjoyed it before switching to marathon," Kiprotich told this paper in a recent interview.
"Running in front of my crowd should be able to prepare me well for a marathon in April," the 27-year-old said.
"My target is to lower the national marathon record again this year and perform at the World Championships in London." he added.
Normally, Kiprotich goes for the Tokyo Marathon in February but he's likely not to a major city marathon as his name was not entered for the London Marathon.
He is likely to return to Enschede, the Lake Biwa Marathon in Japan or the Hamburg Marathon in Germany. "We'll confirm his race soon but it will be in April," Dutch man Jurrie added.