Athletics Athletics

Hamburg king Rotich eyes Majors bow


ROTICH-HAMBURGNAIROBI, May 12 – After winning his first marathon at Hamburg a fortnight ago, former World Youth silver and World Cross junior bronze winner, Lucas Rotich is now eying fall World Marathon Majors races of Chicago and New York.

Rotich who returned to competition last year after a two-year knee injury told Capital Sport he would like to make his Majors debut as he seeks to stamp his name as one of the great marathoners in the world.

The Kenya Police runner said winning Hamburg on only his third career marathon under difficult rainy conditions in 2:07:17 was a big motivation after improving on his ninth finish at the same course last year.

“I was struggling in track where I could only manage to win one or two races but winning marathon for the first time was great for me. It was a good start that has really encouraged me and given me the morale to keep on going.

“Every athlete admires to run in London because it’s a major event, I’m now aiming high and winning London, New York, Chicago or Tokyo will be great,” Rotich, a junior bronze medallist at 2008 World Cross in Edinburgh declared.

The 25-year-old who shifted from track to road racing in 2011 will compete at the annual Athletics Kenya National Police Service Athletics Championships on June 4 and 5, his only planned track running then prepare for the marathon programme.

“I have abandoned track but I’m training for Police Championships where I will run in 10,000m then we will see the way forward.

“My progression is going on well despite disappointment in 2012-13 where I missed competition to recover from a knee surgery. I didn’t know I would come back to running, I thought my career was over but fortunately I came back in 2014 and finished ninth at Hamburg,” the former 3,000m World Youth Silver medallist narrated.

Rotich is coached by retired two-time 3000m steeplechase Worlds silver medallist, Patrick Sang and is a training partner to freshly minted London champion, Eliud Kipchoge.

“For someone to win London, Hamburg, Madrid and Tokyo marathons it’s not a joke and this is all because of our coach Sang who deserves great respect because he does a good job and our win is his win.”

Rotich made his classic distance racing debut at Hamburg last year where he clocked 2:09:22 before underlining his immense potential in his next marathon in Hamburg where he ran his career best 2:07:18 in finishing second behind countryman Bernard Kipyego (2:06:22).

He won the second medal at the Ostrava World Youth in 2007 in the boys’ 3000m where another Kenyan Daniel Sitonik (7:57.18 against 7:59.67) led him to the altar.