By Norman Katende
World and Olympic champion Stephen Kiprotich has become the first major name to be announced for the 2014 Bupa Great North Run, with his debut in the IAAF Gold label road run due in New Castle September 7.
He will be taking part in the 21km event.
His managers entered him in the run to help him gain his composure in the long distance events as they want him to work on his speed and prepare him for the November marathon season where he is most likely to head back to New York.
According to an announcement from the organisers, Kiprotich, who finished 12th in this year’s London marathon will warm up, got the great run by also competing in the Gateshed run on July 13.
“I felt I will perform better but after the half way mark, I felt that the body was not reacting and I could not push further,” said the 25-year-old who became only the second marathoner to win back-to-back Olympic and World marathon championships titles after Ethiopian Gezahegne Abera, who achieved the double feat in 2000 and 2001.
“The Bupa Great North 10k Gateshead will give Stephen the chance to get his confidence back,” said Pete Riley, elite athlete manager for the event.
“Since winning his world and Olympic titles, he’s focused on big city marathons and hasn’t really been ready for them. His management and coaching team just want him to get back into winning ways again.
“It’s also a stepping stone to the Bupa Great North Run for Stephen. He’ll get a feel of the atmosphere he can expect in September and he’ll get an opportunity to see the course.”
Last year event attracted world greats Kenenisa Bekele and Haile Gebreselassie, with double Olympic and World championships gold medallist Mo Farah.
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Kiprotich confirmed for Bupa Great Run