Kenya’s Kipsang eyes 2020 Olympics in Japan

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Kenya's Wilson Kipsang crosses the finish line in the men's category of the Tokyo Marathon in Tokyo on February 26, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / KAZUHIRO NOGI

By Xinhua

Tokyo marathon champion Wilson Kipsang of Kenya might have missed the world record last week, but his performance has inspired him to dream of returning to Japan to compete at the 2020 Olympics.

The 34-year old will not allow age to curtail his progress and remained adamant he will have what it takes to compete for Kenya in three years’ time and probably win that elusive Olympic gold that he yearns to have in his collection.

In London 2012, Kipsang was strong enough to win bronze, but was overlooked in the 2016 Rio Olympics after failing to make an impact at the 2015 Beijing World Championships. But he has reenergized his career winning in Tokyo and claiming silver in Berlin and London in his last three performances.

“I hope to compete in Japan at the 2020 Olympics,” he said. “It is a long way, but it is something I want to do.”

Kipsang broke the Tokyo marathon course record with 2:03:58, after his attempt to reclaim his WR title from countrymate Dennis Kimetto currently with 2:02:57.

Sports equipment manufacturing giant Nike is on a project to sponsor elite runners to be the first to break the two-hour barrier in the marathon. Though Tokyo was not the place for that project, it shows clearly that Kipsang had intent to smash it.

Kipsang, however, is hopeful after his performance in Tokyo, Kenya selectors will consider him for the ticket to London World Championships in August where he intends to fulfill what he failed to do in Beijing two years ago.

“I hope to make the Kenya team to London, but that is not entirely upon me. The selectors will do their job and see who is fit enough for the assignment,” he said.

Kipsang is a former world record holder in the marathon. His 2:03:23 at the 2013 Berlin marathon took 15 seconds off the previous record set by Patrick Makau in Berlin two years prior.

 

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