Saturday April 12 2014

Praying to Kip it high

Stephen Kiprotich gives thanks to the

Stephen Kiprotich gives thanks to the Almighty after shocking the athletics fraternity to win the London Olympics marathon in 2012. file photo 

By Darren Allan Kyeyune

Kampala- Stephen Kiprotich has earned lots of respect in the running world. With Olympic and World Championships titles in his cabinet, he is one of the most successful runners in the world.

But while he has won those prestigious awards, the 2012 Olympic marathon champion, is yet to prove he can run fast.

In city marathons, the Ugandan superstar continues to struggle, his last outing in New York the previous season seeing him finish a distant 12th.
For an athlete whose personal best stands at 2:07:20 achieved in 2011, Kiprotich would be a rank outsider going by fast times in tomorrow’s race. Kenyans Wilson Kipsang and Emmanuel Mutai, and Ethiopian Tsegaye Kebede will start as favourites.

Double Olympic champion (5,000m/10,000m) Mo Farah, running his first marathon, should have a big say in the event but his inexperience in the gruelling distance might be his undoing.

Farah, with a huge backing of the home crowd, ran half the distance in last year’s edition but covering the 42.195km full distance will present him with a bigger challenge tomorrow.

Ethiopian legend Haile Gebrselassie is among the pacesetters for the opening 21km meaning Kiprotich and group must brace for a fierce start.