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Kipchoge eyes personal best in Berlin, Chicago

Tuesday June 23 2015

Eliud Kipchoge crosses the finish line to win the men's 2015 London Marathon on April 26, 2015. PHOTO | SEAN DEMPSEY

Eliud Kipchoge crosses the finish line to win the men's 2015 London Marathon on April 26, 2015. PHOTO | SEAN DEMPSEY | AFP

AYUMBA AYODI
By AYUMBA AYODI
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London Marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge is targeting to improve his personal best of 2 hours and 04:05 minutes either at the Chicago or Berlin Marathon this year.

Kipchoge, who turned down an offer of a place in Kenya’s marathon team for the World Championships due August 22 to 30 in Beijing, China, was non-committal on whether attempting the world record time of 2:02:57, analysts says he could go for it if in good shape.

Berlin Marathon goes down on September 27 with Chicago Marathon coming on October 11, this year.

Kipchoge eased to personal best 2:04:05 when he finished second behind compatriot Wilson Kipsang, who went on to win the 2013 Berlin Marathon in a World record-breaking time of 2:03:23, improving the previous record of 2:03:38 set my Patrick Makau at the 2011 Berlin.

It’s Dennis Kimetto who shattered Kipsang’s record with a new time of 2:02:57at the 2014 Berlin Marathon.

Kipchoge, who is fresh from winning the London Marathon on April 26 in 2:04:42 when he beat Kipsang who was the defending champion to second place, said he is focused on improving his form.

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“I am yet to decide if I will compete in Chicago or Berlin but what I am determined to doing is improving on my personal best. I don’t want to talk about the record at the moment but everything is possible after Kimetto became the first man to run under 2 hours and three minutes,” said Kipchoge, who is the currently Chicago Marathon champion.
Kipchoge, who trains in Eldoret, won last year’s Chicago Marathon in 2:04:11, the second fastest time on the course after Kimetto’s winning record time of 2:03:45 in 2013. Berlin Marathon course has produced the last six records while the last time the Chicago course produced a world record was in 1999 by Moroccan Khalid Khannouchi in 2:05:42.

The 30-year-old, who won the World 5,000m title in 2003, made his marathon debut at the 2013 Hamburg Marathon to win in 2:05:30, spoke about Kenya’s chances at the World Championships.

“The marathon team is strong with Kipsang and Kimetto in it. For sure they must bring back the title home. Team work and self-belief will do the trick,” said Kipchoge.

Others in the tentative men’s marathon team are reigning Paris Marathon champion Mark Korir, Hamburg champion Lucas Kimeli Rotich, Felix Kipchirchir Kiprotich, who finished second at Seoul Marathon and 2012 Rome Marathon winner Luka Lokobe Kanda.

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