World Cross and World Half Marathon champion Geoffrey Kipsang Kamworor believes team work will be key to flooring Mo Farah in the 10,000m race at the 15th IAAF World Championships in Beijing next month.
Kipsang singled out World Cross silver medallist Bedan Karoki and 2011 World Cross silver medallist Paul Tanui as candidates to a perfect combination that would upstage the double world and Olympic champion.
“I think with the support of Karoki and Tanui, we can terribly beat Farah,” said Kipsang. “If we all make the team, then we can see how we can help each other in ensuring we bring the title home.”
Kenya has not won the 10,000m race since 2001 through Charles Kamathi and have won the event on only two previous occasions, 1987- Paul Koech and 1991 through Moses Tanui.
Kipsang said: “Winning the title will be a glorious moment to the nation at large and the athletics fraternity.”
He said the line up for this weekend’s national trials is rich and Kenya should get athletes who can challenge for the title despite making it a personal project.
“I am well prepared for the trials and the world championships,” revealed Kipsang. Since winning the world cross title, Kipsang only participated in the national championships last month and insists this was a well calculated move. “I didn’t want to exhaust myself with races. I have been busy focusing on the world championship,” he revealed.
Farah is currently rated as the distance runner with the best kick in the world, which he uses to terrorise his opponents and Kipsang believes it can be his weak point too.
“I think working together would mean that we terrorise the pace and ensure it is high to deny Farah the chance to apply his kick.”
However, Kipsang insists whatever the situation, he is keen on becoming the first man to whip Farah at the global stage. “I believe my experience both on the road and in cross country will also come in handy. I believe it gives me everything; speed endurance and strength,” he added.
He is currently training at the Kaptagat Global Camp alongside London Marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge, former 3000m steeplechase champion Brimin Kipruto, Olympic marathon champion Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda and world marathon silver medallist from Berlin (2009) Emmanuel Mutai among others.
Karoki agrees with Kipsang but insists of significance will be to make the team first.
“My focus right now is to make the team. After that we can engage in rigorous training and see how best to approach the race,” said Karoki.
“The world cross country championships showed that team work is necessary if we are to win the title and I would be glad to work again with Kipsang.”
He said he is currently in top shape after shaking off an injury which had restricted him from training since the World Cross.
“I feel good right now having recovered from the tendon injury and I feel under no pressure to perform,” added the Japan-based runner, who is doing his final touches in his home-town of Nyahururu.