NAIROBI, July 15- Former Kenyan world marathon record holder and Olympic bronze medallist Wilson Kipsang is not planning to run another competitive race, but is focused on reclaiming the world title for Kenya in Beijing next month.
The 33-year-old two-time London marathon winner says he has not been in the best of shape possible in his five recent races.
He was beaten into second place by compatriot Eliud Kipchoge at the London marathon in April, and finished fourth and fifth respectively in two half-marathon races in New York and the Czech Republic last month.
“It has been a very busy year for me so far,” said Kipsang, who is one of the star athletes to participate in an ongoing 836 kilometre (520 mile) “walk for peace” relay, organised by former Commonwealth champion John Kelai. The 22-day march, aimed to raise awareness to help end ethnic violence in northern Kenya, started in the semi-arid Rift Valley town of Lodwar on Wednesday.
“Since my last race in Olomouc, I have been back in Kenya recovering from all these races and starting my preparation for the upcoming world championships in Beijing.
“The conditions in Beijing are going to be very tough because of the heat and the humidity. That’s why I have started training in similar conditions to get used to this type of climate.
“One of the few things lacking in my career is a medal at the world championships. This is why my focus is now completely on becoming a world marathon champion. I dream of reclaiming the title for Kenya in Beijing.”
Kipsang is included in a six-man provisional team, which includes the current world record holder, Dennis Kimetto, and Mark Korir, the 2015 Paris marathon winner.
Only three athletes will make the final team for the August 22-30 championships, with the national selection scheduled to be held on August 1 after the Kenyan trials at the Nairobi’s Kasarani stadium.