By Norman Katende
There will be no Easter holidays for London 2012 Olympic Marathon champion Stephen Kiprotich.
The world star has decided to sacrifice the festive break and continue training in the Kenya Highlands of Eldoret in preparation for the London Marathon that is due April 21.
Kiprotich, who is training under Kenya coach Peter Sang — the trainer behind his success at the Olympics Games — is determined to prove that his breakthrough on the international stage was no fluke.
“He has decided to continue preparing in Kenya with the other runners,” Jurrie Van Der Velden, the Global Sports communication director stated in an earlier communication.
Kiprotich is one of the big names that have entered this month’s Virgin London marathon. The race has attracted the best field ever, featuring 11 men who’ve completed the 42 kilometer event under two hours 06 minutes.
Should the Ugandan win in London again, he will earn $55,000 (sh146m) winner’s prize plus $100,000 (sh266m) in case he reaches the finishing line under two hours five minutes.
If Kiprotich can run even faster and break the 2:03:59 world record, he will get $125,000 (sh332.5m)
Kiprotich, who is under intensive training in Kenya, clocked 2:08:01 to take gold in London last year.
Among the people Kiprotich will be out to beat again are Kenyans Abel Kirui, who won silver in London, and bronze medalist Wilson Kipsang.
With five kilometers left, Kiprotich sprinted away from the Kenyan duo to win Uganda’s first Olympic medal in 16 years. Quarter miler Davis Kamoga had until that epic race been the last Ugandan to win an Olympic medal.
The depth of the talent in this year’s London marathon is highlighted by the presence of winners of all the top marathons in 2012. Berlin, Chicago, London, Frankfurt and Dubai marathons are well represented.
Kiprotich is training with a host of other runners from Uganda and Kenya under the guidance of Netherland-based company, Global Sports Communication. The group also handles a series of other world top runners including Kenenisa Bekele and Haile Gebrselassie. The Ugandan runners in camp include Mumbai Marathon winner Jackson Kiprop, Philip Kiplimo and Nicholas Kiprono.
“We are planning on getting them different races to compete in,” said Jurrie.