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Saturday, December 03, 2016

Kipchoge focused

After an enoyable 2015 Eliud is now targeting London and Olympic marathon titles

BERLIN Marathon winner Eliud Kipchoge is looking up to a successful 2016 after achieving his athletic targets this year.

“I must say that I enjoyed 2015. The milestones I achieved were very great,” Kipchoge revealed.

He started the year with a major win at April’s London Marathon dethroning former world marathon record holder Wilson Kipsang before winning the BMW Berlin Marathon in September with a personal best time of 2:04.00.

Kipchoge made his marathon debut with a win at the 2013 Hamburg Marathon and proved himself as the best marathoner in the world necessitating the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (Aims) to reward him as the 2015 male Aims Best Marathon Runner.

Athletics Kenya too rewarded him with the 2015 male Best Long Distance Runner Award.

“This is really amazing because I didn’t expect any award apart from the two victories from the world marathon majors’ series. It is a motivation on my side as I start a new year with new plans,” Kipchoge said.

He will start his season at the London Marathon where he intends to defend his title after which he will focus on the Rio Olympic Games.

“I hope that I will extend the form I enjoyed in this outgoing year. London is where I will kick off my season confident of a better performance, after that I will start my preparations for the Rio Olympics.

That will be my focus in the new year because the only Olympic medals I have won are silver and bronze and I will be looking for a marathon gold if all goes well,” Kipchoge added.

Kipchoge who was once a milk vendor at his rural home in Kapsisiywa in Nandi County earning as little as Sh100 a day has seen a meteoric rise in fortunes after becoming a world champion.

With the 1992 Barcelona Olympic 3000m steeplechase silver medallist Patrick Sang as his mentor and neighbour, Kipchoge started developing a passion for athletics.

“I used to watch Sang on television while competing outside Kenya.

“I was very impressed by his running skills and the victories he enjoyed. Through that, I started training,” Kipchoge added.

Surprisingly, Sang would later become his coach at the Kaptagat-based Global Sports Communication camp where Kipchoge trains.

He is currently basking in the glory of five marathon titles since 2013 and a silver medal.

“I will put God before everything in the coming year and I know with him, everything is possible,” he said.

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