Champions in waiting: Kenya super six ready for the world
Posted Wednesday, April 25 2012 at 21:30
- Major casualties as AK says no changes barring injury, selection based on times and fitness
“Watch our footsteps and be ready to witness for yourselves.”
That was the precise answer two-times reigning World Marathon Champion, Abel Kirui, confidently gave when asked whether Kenya will retain the marathon title come the London Olymic Games.
Kirui was named together with the new London Marathon champion Wilson Kipsang and the 2011 Boston/ Chicago marathons champion Moses “Engine Kubwa” Mosop in the Kenya men’s marathon team for the London Olympics.
World marathon record holder, Patrick Makau, world fastest marathoner, Geoffrey Mutai and Emmanuel Mutai were major casualties when Athletics Kenya shortlisted the final team on Wednesday.
AK chairman Isaiah Kiplagat said Makau and Geoffery Mutai have been put on standby in case of any eventuality pending reports on the previous below-par shows.
“For sure we shall prevail and honour the late Olympic marathon champion Samuel Wanjiru,” said Kirui, who described the team as “the best ever”.
“If we combine our good speed and confidence and leave the rest to God, then nothing will go wrong,” Kirui said.
“The selection was perfect and all that is remaining is to train well and embrace teamwork.”
Kirui, who declared himself a master of summer championship marathons said he will conquer the humid conditions during the London Olympics.
“The chilly weather in London last weekend didn’t work for me since I am used to running in summer conditions, “ Kirui said. “I won both the world titles in 2009 Berlin and 2011 Daegu in warm conditions.”
Kirui, who turns 30 on June 4, was bullish about his dream to become the first marathoner to hold both the World and Olympic Games titles.
“I always thank God for his blessings and for sure if it’s his will then who can can be against us.”
Kirui noted that the urge to perform well always pumps the adrenaline in him especially when it comes to flying the national flag high.
Kipsang got the news while attending his home-coming party in Iten. “I am happy my prayers have been answered and the rest is now on me to deliver. It won’t be easy but we shall conquer with teamwork, good health, good training and running the the maximum,” Kipsang said.
“This is a strong team and if our bodies respond well, everybody has the potential to win gold. What I know is that Kenyans will be celebrating another Olympic marathon win.”
Kiplagat said the team will resume training in three weeks time either in Eldoret or Iten under coach David Leting.
“There will be no changes unless someone has an injury,” said Kiplagat adding that the selection was based on fitness and time.