By John Kwoba NAIROBI (Xinhua)
-- Former world record
marathon holder Wilson Kipsang of Kenya jetted out of
the country on Tuesday night for Japan where he is
expected to defend his Tokyo marathon title on Sunday.
is almost getting to the cliff of his illustrious career
as a marathoner.
before it dusks on his career, he wants to reclaim back
the world marathon record, which he lost in 2014 to
compatriot Dennis Kimetto (2:02.57).
Kipsang will see him pocket 80,000 U.S. dollars while a
world record time will secure him further 300,000
dollars in bonus.
the defending champion and leading athlete is entitled
to appearance fees in excess of 100,000 dollars.
That will be
part of his mission as he seeks to defend his crown on
Sunday in the Japanese capital, which has seen the
marathon organizers change to a flat course in a bid to
inspire faster times from the elite runners.
Nairobi on Wednesday, Kipsang said he has his training
done and is ready for the big task having failed in a
similar mission six months ago in Berlin, where he
pulled out of the race after 30km.
face, means serious business ahead. Tokyo is calling and
I’m travelling with my brother Noah Kiprotich and my son
David Kiplagat,” he said.
debut eight years ago, Kipsang has been an integral part
of the marathon establishment. Of the 19 races he has
competed in, he has won nine, including New York,
London, Tokyo, Berlin and Frankfurt.
the only runner to have finished under 2:04 four times -
between 2013 and 2017 over a period of three and a half
the fastest time on Japanese soil clocking 2:03:58 on
his way to victory last year. Now he has his eyes fixed
on Kimetto’s mark and hopes the weather and all other
conditions will be perfect as he launches his attack.
intention to run fast on a new course in Tokyo last
year, which I did. But it was almost a minute too slow
compared to the world record. I want to see if I can be
able to achieve that time on Sunday with my pacemakers,”
Kipsang down to the finish line include compatriots Amos
Kipruto, the Seoul Marathon champion, former Tokyo
Marathon champion Dickson Chumba and 2016 Mumbai
Marathon champion Gideon Kipketer.
former Frankfurt and Paris Marathon champion, Vincent
Kipruto and 2015 Amsterdam Marathon champion Bernard
line-up as always is exceptional and that is what you
expect to find in this caliber of races. We have more
Kenyans this time who are known world beaters and if all
goes well, this will be our race,” said Kipsang.
The New York
marathon silver medalist is not carrying his brother to
Tokyo for site seeing, rather he will be one of the
pacesetters tasked with making sure Kipsang runs fast
and is able to break the world record.
privileged to be among the top cream of pacemakers in
Tokyo and our mission is to help my brother lower the
course record and if possible break the world record
time,” he said.