World champion Kiprop to skip Commonwealth Games in Glasgow
14 November 2013, 09:57
Nairobi - Asbel Kiprop, the World 1, 500m champion, has ruled himself out of contention for the next year's Commonwealth Games.
Speaking in Nairobi, Kiprop confirmed that he will skip the Club games, which will be held in Glasgow, Scotland in August.
"I want to give some young talent the chance to star in the Commonwealth games. If I decide to run, I believe it will be me, Silas (Kiplagat) and Nixon (Chepseba) making the team.
"We need to be considerate and allow the budding talent come through and get the required exposure," he said. However, Kiprop confirmed that reclaiming the Olympic gold medal was still within his sight.
"I will strive to make the Rio de Janeiro Games team. But 206 is still very far and for the time being, it is important focus on the competition at hand," he said.
Kiprop, who was crowned the Olympic Champion in Beijing in 2008, after he finished second to drug cheat Rashid Ramzi of Bahrain, said he wants to stand on the middle spot on the podium in Rio and recite the national anthem, which he things is missing from his vast collection and memoirs.
"In Beijing, I was second and Ramzi tested positive later. I never sung the national anthem and I believe it is right if I do that in Rio," he added.
Ever since the retirement of Moroccan legend Hicham El Guerrouj, Kiprop was primed to be the heir apparent to the throne. He was hungrier than Noah Ngeny, the man he replaced in Kenya as the supreme of 1,500m running.
But poor form and off the track conflicts have limited his cruise to the top. But the 24-year-old Kiprop is now casting his gaze on breaking the world record in 2014.
"My priority will be to break the world record in 2014. I have had the chance to run faster and I believe next season will give me the platform to try out on setting a new mark in the four-lap race," he added.
El Guerrouj's 3:26.00 world record in Rome has stood since 1998 and the closest any athlete has come to reaching it was last year when Kiprop ran 3:27.72 in Monaco. Now the World Champion want to make a serious attempt to break the world record in Monaco in July.
"I have set my focus on making a serious attempt to break the world record. I want to have some faster athletes to push me through and I hope I will be successful in doing so. I think even 3:25.99 will do," said Kiprop.
Kiprop, who supports a planned four-year bans for dope offenders, has lauded the efforts by Kenyan government to get to the root cause of the vice in the country where at least seven athletes were nabbed this year.
World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said Kenya is not doing enough to curb the scourge.
This has prompted Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario to name Professor Moni Wekesa to lead a 12-member committee, which has a 60-day working period to table a report on the infamous doping allegations that was brought to the fore by Germany TV.
Kenya's minister for Sports said the task force must go to the grassroots and get evidence, which is available and have the government implement whatever recommendations they come up with.
"It is the right thing that we wanted. The task force must interact with athletes at grassroot and know how to control it. We need to keep the sport clean," he said.