I'll return better next season, Kiprop warns rivals

Wednesday September 24 2014

Asbel Kiprop of Kenya wins the 1500m event at the IAAF Diamond League in the Qatari capital Doha on May 9, 2014. PHOTO |  KARIM JAAFAR | FILE |

Asbel Kiprop of Kenya wins the 1500m event at the IAAF Diamond League in the Qatari capital Doha on May 9, 2014. PHOTO | KARIM JAAFAR | FILE |  AFP

By AYUMBA AYODI
More by this Author

His first name means determination. That is where the two-time reigning World 1,500m champion Asbel Kiprop will derive his inspiration from as he tries to put behind domestic issues that have bedevilled him this season as he aims for a third world title next year.

The just ended season looked promising for Kiprop, who won the world title in 2011 and 2013, and gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Kiprop put behind the hamstring gremlins that saw him relinquish his Olympic title in London in 2012 to retain the world title in Moscow.

The 25-year-old athlete from Uasin Gishu set the ball rolling this season when he won in Doha, the opening leg of the 2014 Diamond League, with an explosive world lead and meet record time of 3:29.18 on May 9.

Kiprop would anchor the Kenyan 4x1,500m team of Collins Cheboi, Silas Kiplagat and James Kiplagat Magut to world record breaking time of 14:22.22 at the World Relay Championships on May 25 in Bahamas.

After the world record-breaking feat, Kiprop vowed to break the 16-year world 1,500m record time of 3:26.00 held by Moroccan Hicham El Guerrouj come the Monaco leg of the Diamond League on July18. It is during the same event last year where Kiprop won in personal best 3:27.72 hence the best ground to better El Guerrouj’s time.

However, Kiprop failed in his bid as Commonwealth Games champion Silas Kiplagat spoilt the party when he outsprinted Kiprop to win in 3:27.64.

Kiprop finished second in a season’s best of 3:28.45, in what was a huge anti-climax to his record breaking target. Youngster Ronald Kwemoi broke the World Junior records with a new time of 3:28.81 to finish third.

Kiprop’s bid for a comeback at the Africa Championships and World Cup held in Marrakech proved a cropper when he finished second behind Ayanleh Souleiman from Djibouti.

“I had high hopes after my good show in Doha and Bahamas but some domestic issues crept and proved to be a major setback to my ambitions but I am determined to solve them in the next one month before I start my preparations for next season,” said Kiprop.

“As much as I trained hard I just couldn’t concentrate on my races owing to these problems. I just couldn’t take them off my head,” explained Kiprop, who was reluctant to discuss the issues.
“They are personal but it’s my prayer top come back ready to face a new season with great zeal. I want to become the first Kenyan to win the World title thrice over the distance,” said Kiprop.