Former world marathon champion Kirui eyes London title

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Nairobi, March 31 (IANS) London 2012 Olympic Games marathon silver medalist Abel Kirui hopes his lust to clinch the London marathon title will finally be answered on April 22.

Kirui will be making his fifth stop in London marathon having finished in fifth place in 2010 and a year later he was not lucky to finish the race pulling out with an injury, reports Xinhua news agency.

But despite the disappointment, the 35-year-old has said he believes in winning clean and will never be tempted to use performance enhancement drugs.

“This will be my 25th marathon. I have raced at the level consistently and each time I fail or I get injured, I always come back strong. That will be a motivation for me as I return to London in April,” Kirui said on Saturday from Eldoret.

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Last year, Kirui narrowly missed out on a podium place when he clocked 2:7:45 to finish fourth.

Compatriot Daniel Wanjiru won in 2:05:48, with Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele (2:05:57) and Kenyan Bedan Karoki (2:07:41) making it second and third respectively. All the four athletes will be back in London this year.

“I have always yearned to clinch a medal at the London Marathon race. Last year, I came very close, but I had no energy left as I saw Karoki speed past me in the final metres. But I have done well in training and hopefully, this year I will get my wish,” he added.

Kirui, who also is a double world marathon champion, having won in 2009 and 2011, believes he is in the same class as top names including Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge, Bekele, Olympic 10,000m champion Mo Farah.

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Kipchoge, the reigning Berlin marathon champion, won the London event in 2015 and 2016 and will be eyeing his third win.

Bekele, Farah and Kipchoge have won a combined eight Olympic gold medals and 12 World Championship gold medals between them.

“This is a mouth-watering prospect,” said event director Hugh Brasher.

“Farah, Eliud and Kenenisa could all put forward a persuasive case for being the greatest of all time and now they meet for the first time over the marathon distance.”

–IANS

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