NAIROBI, Kenya, November 12- After ascending to the hallowed status as the fastest male ultimate distance runner on the planet, World marathon record holder, Wilson Kipsang, has set his sights on the Olympics and Worlds titles to cement his legacy.
“I had my chance to win gold in London Olympics, but I failed. It was a bit complicated, because unlike the other marathons, which start in the morning, in London we started late and the heat was too much to bear.
“Of course it affected all, but there were also too many corners, I think over 25 and that made it hard. I was in great shape, but I lost.
“So I still want to represent Kenya in major championships. It is always not good to see the other countries edging us out,” Kipsang said in Nairobi on Tuesday.
“But we have to realise that in any major championships, everyone is entered with an aim of winning and we have to learn to live with that. It will be more difficult to win every time.”
Uganda and Ethiopia have emerged as formidable challengers to the fort that has for long been Kenya’s reserve, marathon.
But Kipsang, who is now taking a sabbatical after a hectic season, believes with good training and focus, Kenyan runners still have what it takes to beat the opponents.
The record holder said he was happy with his achievements this season, which saw him clinch the world record in Berlin with a time of 2:03.23.
He was fifth at the London marathon in April; this is besides the bronze medal he picked in London Olympics last year.
This performance enabled him together with compatriot Edna Kiplagat to win AIMS Best Marathon Runner of the Year Award.
The duo was voted the AIMS Best Marathon Runner of the Year in a special gala in Athens last week.
“I had no idea who would win this (AIMS Best Marathon Runner of the Year). Now I am very happy and proud,” said Kipsang.
“This award should become an inspiration for young athletes – not only in Kenya but in the whole world.”
After skipping the World Championships in Moscow this year, Kipsang, 31, is keen to redeem his image by competing in the same event in China in 2015 and complete his onslaught with a show in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
“For now, I have to take a break, watch some football and support my club Chelsea. It is important to give my body some rest and hope to come back stronger next year. In athletics, it is easy to challenge and win the top spot, but it is harder to retain the same,” said Kipsang.
However, the Iten-based athlete is not losing sleep over the threat by his opponents to lower the world mark.
“That record will not last. There are many hungry young runners coming through and several established marathoners who are capable of breaking it. I will not cry if somebody breaks it tomorrow. But I too have the ability to lower it down and next year I will make another attempt,” he said.