Isiolo (Kenya), June 26 (IANS) Rio 2016 favourite and two-time London Marathon winner and course record holder Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya says his preparations for the Olympics are yet to hit top gear just over a month before the start of the Games in Brazil.
The Berlin and 2014/15 World Marathon Majors $500,000 jackpot winner was installed as the runaway bet for the top medal in the ultimate distance event after setting the jaw-dropping 2:03:05 hours course record in London in April, reports Xinhua.
That was the second fastest ever marathon in history and fell only eight seconds short of matching the 2:02:57 standard set by compatriot Dennis Kimetto at the 2014 edition of Berlin earning his inclusion in Kenya’s star-studded cast for the event that was unveiled in May.
On Saturday, he competed in the 21km event of the Safaricom Marathon in Lewa where he clocked 1:06:13 hour in baking conditions at the tough course laid out in the wild for fourth place in a race won by Peter Wambua in 1:05:06.
“It was a good experience. I’m in the middle of my training for the Olympics and on Thursday I ran 40Km and after resting for one day, running 21Km was tough.
“However, it’s a good build up for the Olympics. I am 50 per cent ready for Rio and I will just continue with my normal training,” the athlete who is hoping to complete the full set of medals said at the finish.
Kipchoge won bronze at the Athens 2004 and silver in Beijing 2008 in 5000m before he switched to the marathon when he missed the London 2012 Olympics in 10000m and 5000m at the brutal Kenyan trials.
Since then, he has won six of the seven marathon started as he aims at becoming only the second Kenyan after the late Samuel Wanjiru who set the Olympics record of 2:06:32 at the Beijing Olympic Games to win the crown.
Philemon Baaru and Fridah Lodepa employed their mastery of the course to run to history books with record fourth victories in the men and women’s 42km races in Lewa.
Baaru who reclaimed the title he lost last year after injury forced him out at the 35K mark breast the tape in 2:22:42 and Lodepa matched his feat by trumping the women’ s field in 2:48:13.