World marathon champion Abel Kirui is targeting to break the course record when he debuts at Virgin London Marathon on April 25.
Kirui, who did not rule out making an attempt on the world record, confirmed he is ready to join forces with his compatriot and Olympic champion Samuel Wanjiru to crush Haile Gebrselassie’s 2:03.59 record.
“I have no immediate plans to run in any meeting but the target is to run fast at the London marathon,” said Kirui.
“And should the weather be perfect, and then you can be assured we will make an attempt on the record.”
Virgin London marathon, is known to have one of the toughest course, with hills and sharp corners, and always attracts high profile athletes. This makes it even harder for it to be looked as ideal for breaking the record.
Kirui, crowned champion over the 42km at Berlin marathon in the world championship in last August, is dreaming of returning the record to Kenya, barely three years since Gebrselassie (2:04:26) stole it from Paul Tergat (2:04:55) in 2007.
The Ethiopian improved it in 2008 to 2:03:59. Ironically, all the three fastest times in marathon have been recorded over the Berlin City Marathon course.
“I believe, I can run 2:05 or below in London. But I will be happy if I win with 2:06. It is after London that I will make up my mind if at all I will be running in Berlin,” said Kirui.
Top marathon runners
Kenya had the four top fastest marathon runners last year. Rotterdam champion Duncan Kibet and James Kwambai second were credited with the same time of 2:04:26, the world fastest while Kirui’s 2:05:03 was the third fastest also got in Rotterdam where he was third.
Wanjiru has the fourth fastest time of 2009 at 2:05:10 set in London.
Kirui said it is possilbe to shave 30 seconds off the current world record which stands at (2:03.59 .
In London, it is unlikely Kirui will be overawed by the high profile field. He says he already felt the heat of running againt top runners in Berlin last year when he won the World championship.
“But the course in Berlin was not the same one being used for the Berlin City marathon. That is why we had slower time. But I believe with good planning, coordination and weather the record will fall this year,” he said.
Both Kirui and Wanjiru have maintained a disciplined running pattern with each making only two races in a year. Kirui is already signed up for Dubai marathon in 2011 and one race between Chicago, New York and Berlin.
Wanjiru is eyeing to defend his title in London and run in Berlin where he announced he will be going for the world record.