Wilson Kipsang hopes he will be third time lucky in London in record time

By emmanuel sabuni
Mar 02, 2021
  • Wilson Kipsang ahead of a past London marathon race.(Photo:Courtesy)

Last year he went back to London looking for his third title. He missed but managed an impressive second behind compatriot Eliud Kipchoge.

But on April 24th, Wilson Kipsang is hoping that the luck will turn and he can pick his third title in his fifth appearance in the British capital, sixth if you count the London Olympic run, and possibly in a course record time.

If he achieves this, he will match the feat of two other men who have three London marathon titles, Kenyan Martin Lel(2005,2007,2008) and Mexican Dionicio Cerón who won it consecutively between 1994-1996.

The former world record holder who has been training in Iten for London,a race that the Kenya selectors are likely to use to pick the Olympic team. He won the race in 2012 and 2014, and finished second in 2013 and 2015.

The Olympic bronze medalist has the best time on the course of 2:04.29, and is yearning to lower that, as he eyes his second games in Rio.

“The London race is very challenging, as in each edition the race has been very different for me and I have been striving to achieve something new and unique. This year I am going there with an intention of lowering the course record,”said Kipsang in Eldoret.

His 2:03.23 mark in Berlin three years ago lowered Patrick Makau's world record of 2:03.38 before his training mate Dennis Kimetto who will also be in London, bettered the mark to 2:02.57.

“I have been in training since I was shortlisted and preparations are going on well. From the recent performance I am in a position to run 62:00 minutes in half marathon and in the remaining few weeks,”Kipsang added confidently.

“What I need at the moment is just to make sure that I gain enough speed and endurance unlike in the previous edition which I felt I didn’t give my best,” he added.

London will be tactical

Kipsang placed second clocking 2:04.47 behind compatriot Eliud Kipchoge who secured a win in his maiden appearance on the London marathon course.

Kipsang predicts a very competitive race due with eight athletes boasting of sub-2:06's.

The fastest men on the field are compatriots Dennis Kimetto (2:02.57), Eliud Kipchoge (2:04.00), Stanley Biwott (2:04.55) and Ethiopians Endeshaw Negesse (2:04:52),Kenenisa Bekele ( 2:05:04)Tilahun Regassa ( 2:05:27) and Abera Kuma (2:05:56).

“The top three athletes in the previous edition are present and the presence of Bekele gives the race a tough tag and this needs good preparation in order to survive. It will be more of a tactical race,” said Kipsang.

Kipsang who won his first ever marathon of Frankfurt Marathon with a course record of 2:04.57 in the year 2010 hopes that weather will favour him.

“I love competing in London and I hope the weather will favour me for a sub-2:04 since I love improving my time in every other competition.

“After London we will know who will be in or out for Olympic marathon and I will be glad if I compete for Kenya again,” said Kipsang thoughtfully.