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Kiprop hopes to lead Kenyan sweep in Rio

Asbel Kiprop winning the 1500m at the 2016 Kenyan Olympic Trials.PHOTO/IAAF

Asbel Kiprop winning the 1500m at the 2016 Kenyan Olympic Trials.PHOTO/IAAF

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 2 – It is never easy for any sportsperson to stay in peak form for a long period of time, especially while competing back-to-back in major tournaments.

But that, according to three-time world champion Asbel Kiprop, should not be a stumbling block for him to chase a second Olympic title in Rio de Janeiro.

The 1500m superstar, who will be part of the track and field Kenyan contingent set to depart Sunday, August 7, will be out to achieve his target of holding both the world and Olympic titles within a span of one year.

Kiprop, is in a fine form as he dominates the Diamond League standings on 31 points, having competed in five races so far this season where he set world leads in Doha, Eugene Oregon, Birmingham and Oslo legs.

At some point, Kiprop was tipped to attack the world record held by Morocco’s Hicham El Guerrouj (3:26.00) recorded 18 years ago in Rome, but the 27-year-old will have to wait long after only managing  a season best of 3:29.33 which he ran in Birmingham.

In Rio, Kiprop, who is the fastest runner this year, has set his sights on winning the Olympics rather that going for the world record that he came close to smash last year, when he set his personal best of 3:26.69 in Monaco.

“Yes it’s an amazing season for me and I am exited having secured a place to represent my country at Rio Olympics. With Elijah Manang’oi and Ronald Kwemoi, we form a strong squad that will enable us repeat Beijing World Championships performance where we won gold and silver,” he outlined.

“I believe in hard work in training and when God is on our side and gives us the favour I must win,” Kiprop, who was awarded the 2012 Olympic gold after Algeria’s Rashid Ramzi was stripped of the title, added.

Asbel Kiprop wins the mile at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Oslo (Mark Shearman) © Copyright.

Asbel Kiprop wins the mile at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Oslo (Mark Shearman) © Copyright.

Coming from writing history as the first Kenyan to win three 1500m world championships title in a row, Kiprop launched his 2016 campaign on a resounding note after running a world lead of 3:32.15 in Doha.

He was at it again at the Eugene Oregon 1 Mile Bowerman returning a world lead of 3:51.54 before lowering the time by six seconds at the Oslo Dream Mile where he cruised to victory in 3:51.48.

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However, his smooth run came to end at his last outing in Monaco after finishing to a disappointing sixth position (3:32.13) in a race dominated by compatriots and Rio Olympics team-mates Ronald Kwemoi who won the race ahead of world silver medallist Elijah Manang’oi.

It was his first defeat of the season that came at a time when his manager Federico Rosa was detained at Nairobi’s Gigiri Police Station after being charged with doping related cases.

However, Kiprop who comes from Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County, has reassured that all will be well in Brazil.

“I had to interrupt my training for some days leading up to the Monaco diamond league race as I sought to know exactly what was going on and to know whether my manager was really involved with the doping allegations in any way,” Kiprop told Run Blog Run.

Federico was released on a Sh500,000 bond pending a pre-trial mention set for Monday next week. On Tuesday, the court released his passport to enable him travel to Brazil for the Rio 2016 Olympics.

Kibera Principal Magistrate Bernard Ochoi directed that the passport be returned to court on the August 26 when the games are over.

The men’s 1500m heats will be held August 18 with the final set for Saturday, August 20.

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