NAIROBI, Kenya, January 17- Two-time world marathon champion, Abel Kirui is relishing the prospect of Olympics glory after inching a step closer to London following his inclusion in Athletics Kenya probables list unveiled on Tuesday.
“I had a vision that I would run the Olympics in 2012 and I’m really ready for it and my mission is to be in the mix for the final squad in April,” Kirui, the first repeat winner of the Worlds title said from his training base in Iten shortly after the announcement.
“I hope my name will be among those invited to run at the London Marathon when they release the list on Friday and my strategy is to go there and perform well at 85 percent then return home to prepare for the Olympics.
“I have a strategy for the Games and my aim if to put all my effort and compete at more the 100 percent to defend the title we won in Beijing and all my heart to win is there,” the affable runner added.
And speaking from his training base Boston and New York marathon titleholder, Geoffrey Mutai said the announcement would enable those cited to chart out their programmes with the Olympics in mind.
“My wish is to run for my country at the Olympics and now since I’m aware that I’m in the picture, I will put effort to ensure that I’m considered for the final ticket.
“I’m motivated for it and the Olympics have been on my mind for a long and now, what there is for me is working hard to realise my goal since it will not be easy. I will make my plans clearer in a few days,” Mutai, the fastest ever marathoner at 2:03:02 in Boston who also lowered the New York all time best to 2:05:05 expressed.
“I feel happy since this is what I have been working so hard in my training to achieve and it has given me more motivation to train for London,” the women world marathon champion, Edna Kiplagat said.
“This is the best time to make that announcement since we need good time for preparation. It will also help those who are not being considered for the Olympics to make their plans to compete in other races,” she added.
Kiplagat who is aiming to be the only second woman after Portugal’s Rosa Mota to hold the world and Olympics titles simultaneously also hailed the decision to include her Daegu team mates, silver winner, Priscah Jeptoo and Sharon Cherop in the line-up.
“The way we competed in Korea was the best example of what a united team can achieve and I’m happy they also made the list. Like when I fell, Sharon helped me get up and they waited for me to recover before we went for the medals and this is how a team should operate,” she added.
She was relating to the fall she had at a water point with 38km gone when she was accidentally tripped by Cherop only for her team mates to buy her time after aiding her to resume the race.
Kiplagat then led the pair to the first ever marathon podium sweep at a major event from one nation.
World record holder, Patrick Makau, Marathon Majors winner, Emmanuel Mutai, Chicago Marathon titleholder, Moses Mosop and Frankfurt crown holder, Wilson Kipsang were named alongside Kirui and Mutai in the men’s line-up.
Mary Keitany, the London Marathon titleholder who finished third in New York, Berlin winner, Florence Kiplagat and 2011 Dubai Marathon runner-up, Lydia Cheromei were included in the women’s line-up.
The final squad will be unveiled after the spring marathon season concludes at the end of April.