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January 17, 2019

Is Kiprop ready?

Kenya’s Asbel Kiprop (R) leads the men’s 1500 metres event.
Kenya’s Asbel Kiprop (R) leads the men’s 1500 metres event.

Reigning 1,500 world champion Asbel Kiprop yesterday revealed that delayed start to his preparations has hampered his form ahead of his title defence at the World Championships in London

Kiprop has struggled on the Diamond League circuit this season amid querries over his capability to win a fourth world title after disappointing sixth place at the Rio Olympics last year.

“I normally start training in November for the track season but there are a couple of issues I had to deal with and I ended up starting my programme in April. The results have been been poor but I stepped up my training in the last two weeks and I am in good condition to defend my title,” added Kiprop.

Kiprop best position in the Diamond League was fourth place in Stockholm in 3:33.17. At the Monaco Grand Prix, he came home 11th in 3:34.91 and in Eugene in May, he was placed 13th in 3:58.24. Kiprop added that he has learnt lessons from Rio and is looking forward to the championship.

“I have learnt my lessons from last year and with Elijah Manangoi, Ronald Kwemoi and Timothy Cheruiyot to keep me company, we have nothing to fear and we can conquer the world in London,” added Kiprop.

Head coach Julius Kirwa, however, expressed confidence that in Kiprop they have a man for the big occasion. “He is championship calibre and I am sure he will not disappoint. He has a point to prove,” added Kirwa.

Kirwa said race tactics will be key especially if the four are reach the final. “We will have to craft a plan if they four are to reach the final and look at the threats of other top runners. It has become a very tactful race and if we get it wrong we may lose medals in the race,” added Kirwa.

Kiprop said the withdrawal of world and Olympic 800m champion David Rudisha from the squad on Monday will not affect the team’s performance.

“We have a good crop of athletes in the 800m, who can step into his shoes and deliver,” he added.

Competition for the Kenyan quartet in the event at the world show is expected to come from Olympic champion Matthew Centrowitz, Morocco’s Sadik Mikhou and Amman Wote of Ethiopia among others.

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