TWO-time world marathon champion Abel Kirui has admitted that 2015 was the worst year in his athletic career.
After his athletic peak at the 2009 and 2011 IAAF World Championships, where he won marathon titles respectively, Kirui went on to win marathon silver at 2012 London Olympics.
However, this was as far as he could go as the last three years have been a disaster for him. He, however, believes he will bounce back to the winning ways in 2016. Kirui has only Scotiabank Blue Nose Half Marathon course record of 1:04.03 in May as his biggest achievement in 2015.
“I won some few road races but the year was not good in my marathon progress. The year was hit with different challenges,” Kirui said.
“I have put all that behind me and I hope for the best in the New Year. I want to use the pitfalls of 2015 as a learning curve as I prepare for the next season,” he added.
Kirui failed to finish the April Boston Marathon and went on to place 10th at the Amsterdam Marathon last October. He said getting an Olympic gold medal will be his main focus next season.
“I only have a silver medal in marathon from the 2012 Olympic Games and I am confident I can upgrade it to a gold medal at the Rio Olympics,” he said.
In order to make a cut into Team Kenya, Kirui will be looking for a better performance when he lines up for the Tokyo Marathon in February.
“I am targeting to run good time in Tokyo Marathon in February after which I will fully concentrate on the preparation for the Olympics,” he said.
Kirui is undergoing rigorous training at the moment and hopes to achieve his hundred percent fitness in a month’s time.
“At the moment, I am 90 percent fit and in the next one month, I will be fully fit. That will enable me run better time and make to the team that will be selected. I am hoping for change in the new year,” said Kirui who trains in Iten.
He started running while at Samitui Primary School in Nandi County and made his debut in marathon as a pacemaker at the 2006 Berlin Marathon, finishing ninth. His first major win came at 2008 Vienna Marathon in a new course record of 2:07.38.