Olympic bronze medallist Kipsang to compete in Berlin Half marathon

Nairobi, March 22 (IANS) With over a month before the London Marathon, Olympic bronze medallist Wilson Kipsang of Kenya will head back to Europe for a race, the Berlin Half Marathon on April 3.

The focus is to get his body in the best condition ahead of the London race on April 24, which will be used by Kenya as the qualifying event for the Rio Olympics, reports Xinhua.

Kipsang has run sparingly since he finished second at the New York marathon in November, finishing behind compatriot Stanley Biwott.

On February 24, he was seventh at the Ras Al Khaimah marathon, his only race so far this year. But he feels another race will add value to his preparations as he seeks to compete in what he terms his last Olympics.

“I am satisfied with my progress so far and I’m looking forward to go back to London and race again,” he said on Monday in Nairobi.

“I learned a lot about where I am with my training and what I need to work on for the upcoming months after competing at the Ras Al Khaimah half marathon in UAE.”

Indeed, the former world half marathon champion has been focusing more on his speed work. He believes he has lost the last two marathons in London and New York in 2015 owing to poor sprinting prowess.

But he will not sit back and wait the same to happen this year as he seeks to reclaim the London title and ticket to represent Kenya at the Rio Olympics in August.

But that can wait for the time being. Kipsang says he has to prove his critics wrong at the Berlin Half Marathon on April 3.

“For now I will continue training in Iten and Ngong, when I’m in Nairobi,” he said. “I enjoyed the break I took after the New York marathon. It was nice to spend some quality time with my family and invest time to fulfil my responsibilities as Professional Association of Athletes of Kenya (PAAK) president.

“During this time I never stopped training and I’m eager to run a race again. This is going to be a promising year for me. My training is going very well and I’m fully focused. I have been preparing for the London marathon,” he added.

Other top runners Kipsang will come up against in London include Biwott, who beat him in New York, current Berlin and London champion Eliud Kipchoge, Geoffrey Kamworor, Emmanuel Mutai and Sammy Kitwara.

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