Kenya’s Kipchoge to focus on winning Olympic marathon gold
Nairobi, Aug 11 (IANS) The Olympics don’ t come around every year and London marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge will be on a mission to inscribe his mark on the Rio Games and win gold when he competes in the 42km event.
Kipchoge, who will be making his third show at the Olympics, hopes he will have enough strength and tactic to defeat his opponents, led by his teammate and defending champion Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda, reports Xinhua.
“I have had my frustrations especially four years ago when I missed out to make the Kenya team to London. I won bronze in Athens and silver in Beijing on the track, but I have since moved up to the marathon and hopefully, will have to reclaim the gold my friend The Late Samuel Wanjiru won eight years ago in Beijing from the Ugandans,” Kipchoge said on Wednesday in Eldoret.
The athletics program starts in Rio on Friday, but the Kenya marathon team will not be departing Nairobi until Sunday. The men’ s marathon will not be on the program until August 21, the last day of competition.
“We have enough time to acclimatize. It will be a tough race, competed at the sea level and with a lot of humidity and high temperatures. We are preparing for that and the bodies will be in the right frame for it,” Kipchoge said.
But Kipchoge and his team that has Wesley Korir (former Boston champion) and Stanley Biwott, the winner in New York will be focusing on footworks to clear the distance, the debate over Kenyan athletes competing clean is not about to die.
Kipchoge said it is an effort in futility to even think about it as an athlete and instead wants his colleagues to stay focused on their goals and avoid any sideshows.
“Somebody will be happy for us to lose. It is known that we are the most tested athletes in the world. We do it every time ahead of major competitions and out of competitions. They have not got anything against us and we will keep winning clean,” he said.
Kenya was at the center of a news storm when it emerged that its athletics team manager Michael Rotich, who has been recalled from Rio de Janeiro, demanded money from British journalists posing as coaches, to provide warnings to athletes about impending doping tests.
The coach has since been charged in court but the storm is not settling down soon and the marathon runner says it is not worth to focus on the negatives.
Kipchoge said the recent doping claims on the Team Kenya manager will not destruct them.
“The claims will not destruct us from achieving our target in this Olympics. We are determined and I want to tell my colleagues to remain focused,” Kipchoge said.
According to Kipchoge, this was an individual thing and the relevant authorities should investigate it.
“Let us leave it to the authorities to find out the truth. As for us we can only compete since we have trained well,” he said.
At the same time he said Kenya is endowed with natural talent and they are ready to prove to the world in this Olympic Games.
“I don’ t see any need for anyone to panic because we know that the athletes in Team Kenya are clean. Last year Kenya topped the world in world championships and we are going to do our best in Brazil,” Kipchoge added.