By James Bakama
Virgin London Marathon
JUST like in the build-up to the last Olympics, Stephen Kiprotich has again kept a low profile in the last days to the Virgin London Marathon.
Well aware of the stiff competition that awaits him in the English capital, Kiprotich has concentrated on his training in the final week before he leaves for the weekend race.
The Ugandan has been training in the Kenya Highlands. After a motor accident last month where he wasn’t seriously injured, he focused on training even missing out on the Easter celebrations.
“I have to train and be at my best. As Olympic champion, I will be the man to beat so I can’t take any chances,” he said before entering camp.
Kiprotich stunned the world when he won gold at the 2012 Olympics, a performance that earned him an automatic invitation to the London marathon.
Kiprotich will be up against the elite men’s marathon field ever assembled. The entry includes 11 men who have completed the distance under 2 hours 06 six minutes.
Also in contention will be two medallists from the London Olympic Marathon and the winners of the 2012 Berlin, Chicago, London, Frankfurt and Dubai marathons.
Olympic silver medallist Abel Kirui, also a 2009 and 2011 world champion, will be the only missing star. He pulled out last week because of injury.
Should Kiprotich win again in London, he will become the first Ugandan to win a major world marathon.
The course is a grueling 42 kilometers long, passing through the streets of London to the famous finish line at The Mall.