NAIROBI, April 28- Two-time London Marathon winner and former world record holder, Wilson Kipsang has borrowed the phrase made famous by Hollywood action legend, Arnold Schwarzenegger in declaring “I will be back” after having his crown taken off his head in epic fashion on Sunday.
There was no shame or guilt in losing his crown by five seconds to compatriot Eliud Kipchoge in the enthralling straight duel for victory the last two kilometres for Kipsang who clocked 2:04:47 to earn the scant consolation of being the fastest ever loser in the history of the high-status race.
Besides vowing he would go for his London hat-trick next year, Kipsang has set his sights on doing duty for his nation at summer’s Beijing World Championships in his quest to strike gold for Kenya after his London 2012 Olympics title bid ended in a bronze finish.
“We are waiting for selection of the team and the sooner the better because I would love compete in World Championships for the first time,” he announced at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport when he arrived with majority of the Kenyan armada for the 35th running of the World Marathon Majors (WMM) showpiece.
Once again, he reiterated cold and rainy weather limited his chances for a successful defence following his 2:04:29 course record performance last year after losing his one on one confrontation for glory against Kipchoge over the last two kilometres.
“It was a nice race going there for the fourth time and running a good time and despite finishing second, I really appreciate. Towards the last kilometre, Eliud was a bit stronger than me because I couldn’t resist the cold.
“Since I have less fat, it was not easy to resist such a pace in such conditions, considering I also did a lot of work to break from the group. I’m really happy because of my achievement and with such kind of time I think so far I’m the only one who has ran the fastest time in six marathons under 2:05,” he added in drawing positives from what was a monumental effort that just fell short of the biggest prize.
Kipsang first won at London in 2012 before sliding to fifth in his first defence in 2013, the same year he bounced back to run then world record of 2:03:23 and career best in Berlin.
He returned last year to shatter Emmanuel Mutai’s 2:04:40 course record before adding the New York title later in the fall and with it confirm him as the WMM USD500,000 jackpot winner.
Speaking upon arrival world record holder, Kimetto who finished third in 2:05:50 said he was under no pressure entering the race but saw his surge for his second successive WMM win on the bounce curtailed by his injured knee.
“At 39K I felt my pain in my injured knee and pushed back but I didn’t expect Kipchoge to win. I thought I would win,” Kimetto who trains with Kipsang added.