Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge has expressed confidence in the Kenyan marathon trio of Daniel Wanjiru, Geoffrey Kirui and Gedion Kipketer ahead of the 2017 World Championships set for London next month.
Kipchoge, who struck Kenya’s only second gold medal in Rio last year after the late Samuel Wanjiru’s heroics in Beijing in 2008, believes the trio will emulate him and extend the country’s fine form over the distance in the big city marathons in the recent past.
Kipchoge said: “They have strong minds, bodies and what is required for them to win the marathon gold medal. I believe in them. With combined efforts they are likely to sweep the first three places. I know they will deliver and I wish them all the best.”
Speaking the Bidco Africa games at Thika on Saturday, Kipchoge said he will miss on the world championships as he chases his dream of breaking Dennis Kimotto’s world marathon record in Berlin later in the year.
“I have been training for this for quite some time and a time has come for me make it happen. My dream remains to win the marathon in less than two hours. I have made it to my heart that no limitation will stand in my way. In Berlin I will also try my best to break Kimetto’s record,” said Kipchoge.
The marathoner also expressed his faith in the rest of the team, saying: “I trust the whole team will produce good results. They have strong minds and their capabilities are unquestionable. They are under pressure to retain the world crown and this will give them the necessary challenge to win it.”
“Everyone who made it to the team made it by merit and through their hard work as displayed during the trials I hope they will do us proud.”
Kipchoge was elated to have watched the last of the World Under-18 Championships on home soil, being a product of the age category competition having started his career with a win in the junior race at the 2003 IAAF World Cross Country Championships.
“I am happy to have watched the last edition of the U18 for the last time on home soil. I am happy with the governing body (Athletics Kenya) for the event’s success. It was great to watch young talents compete,” said Kipchoge. “They showed great displays which could hardly be distinguished from that of the senior runners. The event earned the country global respect and we hope that our senior runners will make us proud too at the London championships.”