By John Kwoba NAIROBI (Xinhua)
-- Champion Wilson Kipsang of
Kenya is excited, focused and ready for his title
defence at the Tokyo Marathon on Feb 25.
is targeting to set a new world record on his second
attempt at the Japanese premier marathon competition,
has intensified his training in Kericho, running at high
altitude and is hopeful that hard work will bear fruits.
With a two
hours, three minutes and 58 seconds course record to
defend, Kipsang is also dreaming of attempting to break
the world record, knowing his rivals will be on a
similar mission in April at the London Marathon.
everyone during the final steps and almost won the New
York marathon in Nov. last year. Well, this year I will
just go ahead and do it in Tokyo,” Kipsang said on
Tuesday from Kericho.
Kipsang missed out on the world record (2:02:57 set by
compatriot Dennis Kimetto in 2014 in Berlin) but still
ran the fastest time ever on Japanese soil to win in
Kenyan, 36, will make a second attempt to break his
compatriot Dennis Kimetto’s world record.
good weather and good competitions the course in Tokyo
is capable of producing the world record and I will try
and run fast and let the rest fall in place,” he added.
one of the most accomplished marathon runners from Kenya
and holds a best time of 2:03:13, which he attained in
2016 in Berlin.
director Tadaaki Hayano is backing up Kipsang to excel
and break the world record.
“I expect a
very exciting race this year. The assembled field is
good enough to target the world record. Furthermore
Kipsang has experience running on the Tokyo Marathon
course. Kipsang is targeting faster time than last year,
perhaps a world record,” Hayano said.
win in Tokyo last year, Kipsang dropped out of Berlin
Marathon in Sept, but recovered to finish second at the
New York Marathon in Nov.
main competition is Tesfaye Abera of Ethiopia and Feyisa
Lilesa, the 2016 Olympic marathon silver medalist. Then
there is also Kenyan Dickson Chumba, who stayed with
Kipsang until 35km last year.
women’s race, Helah Kiprop, Purity Rionoripo will face
stiff challenge from Ethiopians Shure Demise, Ruti Aga
and Birhane Dibaba while Anna Hahner (Germany) and Amy
Cragg (USA) are also in the line-up.
5,000m champion Meseret Defar will also be launching her
marathon career after retiring from the track.