NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Chicago
Marathon champion Abel Kirui of Kenya wants to prove his critics wrong as he
seeks to conquer the English capital road race by winning twice in London.
First he has
a small challenge to secure victory at the London marathon on April 23, which
will serve as a major catalyst for his selection into the Kenya team, to the
World Championships in London in August.
ago, Kirui got his ego badly bruised when the panel of Kenya team selectors
overlooked his participation for the 2015 World Championships and Rio 2016
pains me that I missed the two events. It was the right decision by the coaches
not to think of me. I was just returning from injury and had no race time in my
training. But it is always an honor to compete for Kenya and on that basis, my
heart sunk for not being part of the team,” he said on Wednesday.
Well, he has
the chance to atone that by giving himself a head start should he win the London
marathon next month.
already shown great interest and fitness. In competing at the Barcelona Half
Marathon this year, I showed what class I have and I am so happy with the time I
clocked of 61.30 minutes. Certainly it is a good start towards my target of
winning in London,” said Kirui.
will not be running alone in London to secure his ticket for the Kenya team to
the World Championships.
There will be
a horde of young and experienced talent on show who will be keen to cut him back
to pieces as they go for the gold medal and lucrative price pack on offer.
“I have done
well to show that I still have the energy and the tactics to win big city
marathons irrespective of who I compete against,” he said.
Of the 17
marathons that Kirui has finished to date, the former Olympic marathon silver
medallist has made it on to the podium in more than half of them. And of his
four marathon victories, two of them were at the World Championships.
other athletes - Abel Anton, Jaouad Gharib, Catherine Ndereba and Edna Kiplagat
- have won two world titles in the marathon.
hopes to become the first person in history to win three world marathon titles
in August in London.
one of the six fastest men in history, has learnt that fast times do not count
for much in a championship setting. When he ran his personal best time of
2:05:04, he was sixth on the world all-time list.
By the time
he won his second world title in 2011, he had slipped to 10th. Six
years on from that, with the depth of marathon running having gone from strength
to strength, Kirui is now 33rd on the world all-time list.
however, is still a contender and nobody should rule him out of London quest for