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Silas Kiplagat hopes to bloom in championship

Saturday August 15 2015

Kenya’s Silas Kiplagat competes to win in the men’s 1,500m event at the Diamond League athletics meeting in Shanghai on May 17, 2015. PHOTO | JOHANNES EISELE | AFP

Kenya’s Silas Kiplagat competes to win in the men’s 1,500m event at the Diamond League athletics meeting in Shanghai on May 17, 2015. PHOTO | JOHANNES EISELE | AFP 

AYUMBA AYODI
By AYUMBA AYODI
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The 2014 Diamond League 1,500m champion, Silas Kiplagat has set his sights on glory at the World Championships.

Kiplagat is confident of posting good results in this year’s edition of the games, having learnt from past mistakes at the 2011 edition in Daegu and 2013 Moscow World Championships.

Kiplagat, 25, said that he has armed himself with the right ammunition ahead of the Beijing show after reviewing past video clips from some of his role models, among them World record-holder Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco and Algeria's Noureddine Morceli.

Morceli, who has the fourth fastest time over the distance of 3min,27.37sec, won the world titles thrice in 1991 (Tokyo), 1993 (Stuttgart) and 1995 (Gothenburg) before El Guerrouj claimed an unprecedented four world titles in 1997 (Athens), 1999 (Seville), 2001 (Edmonton) and 2003 (Saint-Denis).

Kiplagat finished second in 3:35.92 at the 2011 Daegu Worlds, losing the battle to compatriot Asbel Kiprop (3:35.69) and sixth in 3:37.11 at the 2013 Moscow Worlds where Kiprop (3:36.28) reigned supreme again.

“I have in the past made silly mistakes, including running late from behind,” said Kiplagat. “I have watched how El Guerrouj and Morceli used to win races and for sure I want to get it right this time around.”

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KIplagat, who won in Shanghai (3:35.29) and Paris (3:30.12) this season, finished second behind Kiprop during the national trials for the World Championships, clocking 3:34.44 against 3:34.04. Also to make through for the Worlds were Elijah Manangoi (3:34.46) and Robert Kibiwott (3:34.71).

Kenya has four slots in the games by virtue of having the world and Diamond League champions in their midst.

“It’s a tough calling but I shall put my best foot forward and hope for the best,” said Kiplagat, whop boasts a personal best 3:27.64 from 2014 Monaco.

Kiprop ran world’s third fastest time when he won in Monaco in 3:26.69 on July 17, this year, missing El Guerrouj’s world record by 0.69. “ It shows the quality of the field I will face,” said Kiplagat.

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