By James Bakama
London Marathon (Sunday)
NATIONAL coach Benjamin Longiros wants Stephen Kiprotich to apply what he refers to as “the Moscow tactic” if he is to excel in London this weekend.
The veteran coach has advised Kiprotich to keep with the front pack until that point when he can break away.
That’s the approach that Kiprotich and Longiros agreed on at the Moscow World Championships.
Kiprotich did exactly that, and the effort paid off with a gold medal.
The Ugandan athlete had earlier also employed the same tactic to win gold at the 2012 London Olympics.
But Kiprotich was at last year’s Virgin London Marathon caught in between a group of not very serious runners and by the time he woke up, the front pack was well ahead.
But even then, he was still not about to give up. He clawed his way to 13th position before eventually battling to sixth place in the last three kilometers.
“If he again remains far behind the front pack, then he shouldn’t count himself among the top finishers,” cautioned Longiros.
“Being physically fit is one thing, but learning from your mistakes is another,” noted Longiros adding that Kiprotich has the potential to win again in London provided he is in the right state of mind.
Unlike Moscow where Kiprotich had team-mates Jackson Kiprop and Abraham Kiplimo to boost him, London will be tricky because he will be all alone.
Kiprotich will also be up against one of the strongest marathon fields ever assembled.
The cast includes world record holder Wilson Kipsang, course record holder Emmanuel Mitai, defending champion Tsegay Kebede, British double Olympic and world track champion Mo Farah and Paris Marathon champion Stanley Biwott.
The London event always produces super human results thanks to very attractive cash prizes and bonuses.
A cash prize of $55,000(sh140m) awaits the winner.