HUNT FOR MORE GLORY

Kipruto believes he can pull off hot streak in upcoming races

He added that finishing second at the Tokyo Marathon was enough morale for him not to give up the chase.

In Summary

• He won the race in 2:04:39 edging out Ethiopia’s Leul Gebresilase to second place in 2:05:12. Belgium’s Abdi Bashir placed third in 2:05:19. Sisay Lemma, who won last year’s edition of the race, finished distant seventh in 2:07:26. 

• In the women’s race, Joyciline Jepkosgei relinquished her title to Ethiopia’s Yalemzerf Yehualaw who won the race in 2:17:26. Jepkosgei placed second in 2:18:07 as another Ethiopian, Alemu Megertu settled for third place in 2:18:32.

Amos Kipruto in heads for the finish line during the 2022 London Marathon on Sunday
HANDOUT Amos Kipruto in heads for the finish line during the 2022 London Marathon on Sunday

Newly-crowned London Marathon Champion Amos Kipruto is not resting on his laurels as he looks to extend his blistering form on the roads.

Kipruto won the London race in 2:04:39, edging out Ethiopia’s Leul Gebresilase to second place in 2:05:12. Belgium’s Abdi Bashir placed third in 2:05:19. Multiple Olympic champion Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia was fifth in 2:05:58 while Sisay Lemma, who won last year’s edition, finished a distant seventh in 2:07:26.

“I know I will have a lot of pressure and competitors from now on but I believe in my training. I have the confidence that I will still do well in other competitions. I can confidently say I am ready for anything,” Kipruto said.

Kipruto was Kenya’s sole representative in the men's race and observed that there was a lot of pressure to perform.

“Being the only Kenyan in the race was really hard for me but I managed. There was a lot of pressure and my fans were also watching me. I had to fight for a podium finish and I thank God I placed first,” Kipruto said.

He said he received immense support from his family, coach and training mates as he was preparing for the race, adding that finishing second at the Tokyo Marathon was enough morale for him not to give up the chase. 

“I was well prepared for the race. Placing second at the Tokyo Marathon was a morale booster and it motivated me to keep going. It gave me the confidence to end the season on a high,” he said.

In the women’s race, Joyciline Jepkosgei relinquished her title to Ethiopia’s Yalemzerf Yehualaw, who won in 2:17:26. Jepkosgei placed second in 2:18:07 as another Ethiopian, Alemu Megertu settled for third in 2:18:32.

Other Kenyans in the race were World Marathon silver medallist Judith Korir and the 2016 World Half Marathon bronze medallist Mary Ngugi, who placed fourth and seventh in respective times of 2:18:43 and 2:20:22.

Meanwhile, Eldoret town was full of life after Kipruto’s astonishing run. His win awakened the crowd gathered at the big screen mounted along Eldoret-Uganda Road.

The huge marathon viewership that was sponsored by the county government of Uasin Gishu attracted a large crowd where all four major roads, Oginga Odinga Street, Eldoret-Iten road and Kenya-Uganda highway were closed.

Among the crowd were world women’s only marathon record holder Mary Keitany, Nandi sports CEO Kennedy Tanui, Uasin Gishu Athletics Kenya chairman Joseph Boit and the host governor, Jonathan Bii.

Bii, who took over the top county job from Jackson Mandago, said: “This is a region known for producing top athletes and such events bring together many people. Sports is a unifying factor in everything that we do despite our political differences,” he said.

Tanui expressed optimism that Nandi County, where Kipruto and Jepkosgei hail from, will continue producing top athletes. He said their focus now shifts to the Chicago Marathon on October 9 and the New York City Marathon on November 6.

“As a county, we are on top of the world with a rare talent and our hope is to continue producing top runners. We now await the Chicago and New York marathons,” he said.