Kiprotich goes for glory in New York
Posted Sunday, November 3 2013 at 00:00
The Ugandan legend is yet to win any traditional city marathon.
THE NEW YORK MARATHON
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With world and Olympic titles, Stephen Kiprotich’s trophy cabinet is envied by many sportsmen. The Ugandan is undoubtedly the most sought-after marathoner in the world.
While Kiprotich has shone at the previous two championship events – 2012 Olympics in London and this year’s World Championships in Moscow – he is yet to win any traditional city marathon.
The world’s biggest city marathons are Tokyo, Berlin, London, Boston, Chicago and New York.
The closest he came to snatching victory was in the 2012 Tokyo Marathon where he finished third, a place ahead of Ethiopian legend Haile Gebrselassie.
Although he had won the slightly minor Enschede Marathon in Netherlands a year before, it’s the Tokyo performance that showed the world Kiprotich’s potential.
Sixth in this year’s London Marathon, Kiprotich is now a more assertive runner. It’s of no surprise he has been tipped to swim in glory on the streets of New York this evening. “When you enter a race, anything can happen,” Kiprotich remarked before he set off for New York City. “I now know what it takes to win and will try every means possible to achieve success.”
There are genuine concerns that Kiprotich’s body is yet to fully recover from the Moscow fatigue but that will matter less to the Ugandan star seeing that there is a cash purse of Shs1.8bn at stake.
To ‘escort’ Kiprotich in the New York City streets will be fellow Ugandan Jackson Kiprop. In Moscow where Kiprotich became the first Ugandan male to win a world title, Kiprop took the plaudits for doing great rabbit work. “He helped me a lot,” Kiprotich said of Uganda Prisons teammate Kiprop after the Moscow event in August. “I thank him very much.” Kiprop had designs on a medal position for the bigger part of the race but faded to finish 10th.
It will be Kiprotich’s prayer that his teammate turns up in a similar generous mood. It is, however, likely that Kiprop might decide to push for individual glory.
This is the first time Uganda is fielding more than one athlete in such a high profile marathon out of the Olympics and World Championships.