Ugandan marathon superstar enters camp next week in preparation for a return to London where he won the Olympic title.
Even after winning the Olympic and world marathon titles, some in the athletics world still doubt Stephen Kiprotich. His critics say he is not a fast marathoner and has hugely been lucky to claim the two coveted titles. But the Ugandan superstar is keen to silence his detractors this year.
“I know I haven’t run a very fast marathon in my career so far,” Kiprotich said in a recent interview. “But what people forget is that I am still learning. You can’t judge someone who hasn’t run more than 10 marathons. I have competed against very experienced marathoners and defeated them.”
Competing in his first marathon in 2011, Kiprotich set a national record of 2:07:20 and that’s the fastest he has run. But with no big championship on his menu this year, the Uganda Prisons officer is keen to lower his Personal Best and prove to everyone that he can out speed anyone.
“On a good day, I am sure I can run 2:05,” he said, confidently. He added: “I can even attempt the world record (2:03:23). It’s very possible. It all depends on the course and how the body reacts.” The biggest event this year will be the Commonwealth Games due August in Glasgow, Scotland but Kiprotich won’t be making an appearance at the showpiece. “I want to give others a chance to shine. The Commonwealth Games and World Half Marathon Championships are not for me,” he said.
Instead, he plans to return to London where he claimed the Olympic title in 2012.
“I want to do better in the Virgin London Marathon,” Kiprotich said of the event in which he finished sixth in April last year. “Last year, I gave up easily after 20 kilometres. The pace was so high and I somehow felt I couldn’t sustain it. But I should have pushed with the leading pack to the end.”
Unlike last year when he competed in three marathons plus a half marathon, the world champion wants to limit himself to only two marathons in 2014 to avoid a burnout. Kiprotich enters camp in Kenya on January 15 in preparation to defend the Granollers Half Marathon title in Spain next month. After competing in London in April, he will pick between the Berlin and New York marathons.
“Berlin marathon organisers have approached me and I am seriously considering it. But I will sit with my managers and we decide which one I should run.”
Kiprotich had his worst marathon display in New York in November where he finished 12th in 2:13:05.
Meanwhile, the Uganda Sports Press Association will today select the most outstanding sportsmen for 2013.
Kiprotich is expected to easily win the Sports Personality of Year like he did last year.
Date of Birth: February 27, 1989
1st – Granollers Half Marathon (1:01:15)
6th – Virgin London Marathon (2:08:05)
1st – Moscow World Championships Marathon (2:09:51)
12th – New York Marathon (2:13:05)
3000m - 7:48.06 (2007)
3000m Steeplechase - 8:26.66 (2010)
5000m - 13:23:70 (2008)
10,000m - 27:58.03 (2010)
Half Marathon - 1:01:15 (2013)
Marathon - 2:07.20 (2011)
2008 - 12th World Cross Country Championships, Edinburgh (junior)
2008 - 5th World Junior Championships, Bydgoszcz (10,000m)
2009 - 23rd World Cross Country Championships, Amman (senior)
2010 - 6th - African Championships in Athletics, Nairobi (10,000m)
2010 - 4th Obudu Ranch African Mountain Running Championships
2011 - 9th World Championships in Athletics, Osaka (Marathon)
2012 - 3rd Tokyo Marathon
2012 - 1st Olympic Games, London (Marathon)