Athletics Athletics

Kipsang, Makau to ‘team-up’ for WR


KIPSANG-LONDON-1NAIROBI, Kenya, September 3- The two official fastest marathoners of all-time, Olympic bronze winner, Wilson Kipsang and world record holder, Patrick Makau are seeking to team-up and lower the 2:03:38 standard when they line up for the Berlin Marathon on September 29.

The Kenyan roadrunners will meet for the first time despite having set fast times in different Germany cities two years ago.

Makau clocked 2:03.38 to set the new world marathon record in Berlin in 2011 and three weeks later compatriot Kipsang failed to cut down the record by a time of 2:03.42 in Frankfurt.

And as the duo prepare for Berlin clash in about three weeks, Kipsang was categorical that the world record will be under spotlight again.

“I can’t say how low we intend to reduce the world record,” Kipsang said on Monday in Iten in northwest Kenya. “However, if the weather and other factors remain constant, running under the 2: 03 mark is very much possible.”

“I have no idea if it will be me or Makau, but both of us are fast runners and we are on the comeback of sorts. The pace makers also have to do their part, but even if we fail to run under the 2: 03 mark, it will not take long before somebody does that. It is becoming competitive.”

Kipsang has since asked the Berlin marathon organizers to provide him with fast pave makers and he will be carrying along one of his trusted partners to steer him through the distance.

“I have secured permission to have my training mate Edwin Kiptoo run in Berlin. He will help me a lot. He will be a pace maker and he has been permitted to run as far as possible. So we will see how the body responds and then decide if going for the record is attainable,” he added.

It was in Berlin that Makau set the current world record of 2: 03:38 in 2011, with Kipsang running his 2:03:42 in Frankfurt.

Kipsang has had the superior resume since then. He won the 2012 London Marathon in 2:04:44, becoming the second person, after Haile Gebrselassie, to run three marathons under 2:05.

At the Olympic Marathon in London, Kipsang clinched bronze medal in a race won by Uganda’s Timothy Kiprotich. After the 2012 New York City Marathon was cancelled, Kipsang won December’s Honolulu Marathon.

He returned to Manhattan in March this year to win the New York Half marathon and was then fifth in the London Marathon in 2:07:47.

“I went slowly this year. I wanted to prepare well for Berlin and the allure of a possible world record did influence that decision to run sparingly,” said Kipsang.

Makau, meanwhile, dropped out of the 2012 London Marathon and was not selected for the Kenyan Olympic team. He took first place at Frankfurt last fall in 2:06:08, but was out of the top ten in London this past April, finishing in 2:14:10.

The women’s field in Berlin will also include Irina Mikitenko, who set the German national record of 2:19:19 in Berlin in 2008, American Olympian Desiree Davila and Kenya’s Florence Kiplagat, who won Berlin in 2009 in 2:19:44 and became a world champion in cross country in 2009 and in the half-marathon in 2010.