•World marathon bronze medalist Amos Kipruto wants to go one better than his third place finish at the 2019 World Championships in Doha
•Kipruto will join Eliud Kipchoge, Lawrence Cherono and Vincent Kipchumba as part of Team Kenya's men marathon team
•As part of the build-up to the quadrennial event, Kipruto plans to participate in a series of half marathons across the world
World marathon bronze medalist Amos Kipruto wants to clinch either gold or silver at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics after his inclusion in Team Kenya's marathon team.
Kipruto said a first or second place finish at the summer games will be a next step in his marathon career after clinching bronze at the World Championships in Doha in 2019.
"I feel my inclusion in the marathon team is a just reward for the hard work and great performances I have been putting in my races. Last time I won a bronze and now the only ones missing from my medal collection are gold and silver. My target is to win either of the two in Tokyo but if I end up with a bronze, I will be content with that," Kipruto said.
Kipruto was part of a male quartet named yesterday — for the second time in a year — by Athletics Kenya to represent the country in the marathon at the Olympics.
The others include world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge, Valencia Marathon defending champion Vincent Kipchumba and Boston and Chicago marathon winner Lawrence Cherono. Kipruto believes this is one of the strongest marathon teams the country has put out in recent times.
"Each of the athletes are strong runners in their individual capacities. I believe that together we will achieve great things for our country. I believe everything is possible through hard work in training," Kipruto, who has been training in Kapsabet, said.
However, Kipruto, who finished second behind Kipchoge in the 2018 Berlin Marathon, warned his teammates to be wary of Ethiopians who he expects to pull out all stops to halt the Kenyan momentum.
"They are our long-time rivals and will be sure to put out a strong team. Therefore, we will have to be on our toes so that they do not upset us. We need to up our training to ensure we perform at the highest standard during the competition. Uganda is also coming up strong but for me, Ethiopia remains the most formidable opponent," he said.
During the global showpiece in Doha, Ethiopia's Lelisa Desisa produced a breathtaking performance to clock a personal best of 2:10:40 to snatch the marathon title from Kenya.
Another Ethiopian, Mosinet Geremew clocked 2:10:44 to finish second ahead of Kipruto who was debuting in the event.
As part of the build-up to the quadrennial event, Kipruto plans to participate in a series of half marathons across the world.
"As from next week, I will consult with my team to see which races to register for. The last year was a trying time due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, I also thank God because I managed to attain a personal best at the Valencia Marathon. Depending on how Covid-19 pans out, I will see which marathons to run in after Tokyo," Kipruto said.