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Kipsang return from Berlin

01 October 2013, 14:16

Nairobi - Many castigated his decision to skip the World championships in Moscow, but Wilson Kipsang returns home Tuesday riding the crest of a wave that propelled him shave 15 seconds off the world marathon record in Berlin on Sunday.

Kipsang had hinted of going full throttle to attain his target a week to the race, and lived up to his expectation when he romped home in 2:03.23, ending compatriots Patrick Makau's hold on the record at 2:03.38.

"I must say, we didn't expect his performance to be this good. My congratulations to Kipsang, battling all odds to set a new world mark," Athletics Kenya (AK) Vice President David Okeyo said in Nairobi on Monday.

"This confirms the extend of determination and hard work our athletes are putting in their training. They always strive to raise the bar and I believe there is more to come from them."

Kipsang's performance was phenomenon; it was the eighth world record in Berlin in 15 years, strengthening the marathon reputation as the world's fastest course.

Kipsang earned 54,000 U.S. dollars in prize money plus another 68,000 dollars for breaking the record.

Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya was second in 2:04:05, improving his personal best by a minute and a half in his second marathon, while Kenya's Geoffrey Kipsang -- not related to Wilson -- was third in 2:06:26.

The trio, together with other Kenyans who ran in Berlin, including women's champion Florence Kiplagat 2:21:13 and silver medallist Sharon Cherop 2:22:28 are due to touch down in Nairobi on Tuesday morning and there is excitement from both AK and the Kenya Police, where they work, on who will be first to host them.

"We are working out modalities to see how we harmonise the reception party. I hear the Police are keen to have him and will also airlift him to Eldoret after meeting the Inspector General.

"But we will also seek a session with him and see that he inspires more athletes to maintain the hard work and focus on winning clean," said Okeyo.

Coaches also congratulated the new hero and said, his decision to skip the World Championships has been vindicated as he has trained well and conquered the world to set a new record in Berlin.

Kipsang, who was in London marathon finishing third, decided to skip Moscow World marathon Championships, to focus his mind on the Berlin course, with a world record behind the plot.

Coach Julius Kirwa, said he can now walk tall after attaining his goal.

"Many local athletes have been misguided by greed and tend to compete in one too much marathon. The end result is evident at major championships as they are exhausted and can't compete favaourable," said Kirwa.

"But he (Kipsang) has shown that with good planning, everything is possible. I must also congratulate Florence Kiplagat and Eliud Kipchoge for putting in a good show too."

Kipsang threatened to break the world record first in 2011, just a month after Makau (2:03.38) had ended Haile Gebreselasssie record of 2:03.59.

Kipsang, running in Frankfurt finished in 2:03.42, missing the world record by just four seconds. But he has since been rewarded with the title after two years.

Coach Sammy Rono, who led Kenya' team to the Moscow Worlds, said the record could go down further to under two hours and three minutes if athletes plan well.

"That can still go down, but it is hard and need a lot of planning," he said.

In 2010, Geoffrey Mutai set unofficial 2:03.02 mark in winning Boston marathon, but that IAAF did not ratify the time though. Mutai will be in New York on November 2 to compete together with compatriot Moses Mosop. 



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