NAIROBI, Kenya, October 31- Wilson Kipsang may have fallen four seconds short of matching Patrick Makau’s five-week-old world record in Frankfurt on Sunday but his monumental 2:03:42 effort has presented Athletics Kenya (AK) with a pleasant headache.
Speaking to Capital Sport, AK secretary general, David Okeyo, said Kipsang had put his name in the hat for selection with the London 2012 probables in Marathon set to be announced sometime in January.
“His running was brilliant and it was further proof of the quality we have to select since we want to send the best team to London. Our wish is to start preparing early with the probable squad being named in January,” Okeyo said.
He added: “As much as we congratulate Kipsang and are proud of the achievement of producing the two fastest ever marathoners in just over a month, it does not mean someone who runs very fast can win at an event such as an Olympics.”
Okeyo adduced they had left the issue of selection on the federation’s pool of coaches who are expected to come up with at least ten potential candidates for London 2012 apiece in the men and women races.
These probables will then be invited to a training camp before the final squad is announced ahead of the summer games.
“We are confident that our panel of selectors will come up with good names and a list by January since we do not want to wait for too long,” he explained.
Kipsang became the fourth Kenyan to dip in under 2:04 this year following efforts by Geoffrey Mutai (2:03:02), Moses Mosop (2:02:04) and Makau who ran 2:03:38 in Berlin in September.
Mutai and Mosop raced their staggering marks at April’s Boston Marathon that uses a course that is not ratified as a world record route by IAAF meaning Makau’s winning time in Berlin supplanted the first sub 2:04 run by Ethiopia’s Haile Gebrselassie at the same city in 2008 of 2:03:59 as the all time best.
“It’s a good sign for Kenya that we possess enough talent to dominate marathon running but at the same time, it makes the work of selecting our teams for major events harder,” Okeyo mused.
Following Kipsang’s victory, world governing body IAAF website reported, “There was some scant consolation that his repeat victory in Germany’s finance capital was a 2:03:42 course record, over a minute faster than his 2:04:57 here last year.
“And that this time will situate him firmly alongside Makau as a front runner for Kenya’s Olympic Marathon trio for London 2012.”
But it seems Kipsang has a more monumental battle in his hands if he is to land the coveted Olympics slot, one that may pale in comparison to the world record attempt with Saturday’s New York, the spring marathons to come in the first third of next year.
Leading Results (Kenyan unless indicated)
1. Wilson Kipsang 2:03:42
2. Levy Matebo 2:05:16
3. Albert Matebor 2:05:25
4. Phillip Sanga 2:06:07
5. Robert Kipron Cheruiyot 2:06:29
6. Peter Kirui 2:06:31
7. Dickson Kiptolo 2:07:23
8. Siraj Gena 2:08:31
9. Duncan Koech 2:08:38
10. Henry Sugut 2:08:56
1. Mamitu Daska ETH 2:21:59
2. Agnes Kiprop 2:23:54
3. Flomena Chepchirchir 2:24:21
4. Merima Mohammed ETH 2:24:32
5. Rita Jeptoo Busienei 2:25:44
6. Nadia Ejaffini ITA 2:26:15
7. Fate Tola ETH 2:27:18
8. Biruktait Degefa ETH 2:27:34
9. Sabrina Mockenhaupt GER 2:28:08
10. Alena Samokhvalova RUS 2:28:43