KAMPALA. A week ago, Stephen Kiprotich updated his Facebook status with an image of him in action on the streets of Hamburg this year.
The post was headed with text reading: ‘Taking it to another level this time.’
It tells how Kiprotich’s mind is, since September when he confirmed participation at the Toronto Marathon.
Now the Ugandan will line-up in an elite field today in the province of Ontario with eyes on taking home the title that comes with a cash prize of 30000 Canadian Dollars (Shs86m).
“We have high hopes for him there,” Kiprotich’s Dutch manager Jurrie van der Velden of Global Sport Communication told this paper.
When things are good, it will often show with Kiprotich, beyond his social media that are often cheeky. He insists his body has rested enough since finishing fifth at the Hamburg Marathon in April.
And the 2012 Olympic marathon champion is motivated by the hunger as he has not won a race since taking gold at the Moscow World Championships in 2013. “This time round I need to change the beats,” he told this paper early this week.
His best performances have been second place finishes at Tokyo in 2015 as well Hamburg and Fukuoka in 2017.
While interacting with his fans on social media, he divulged into his Toronto plans. “Thank you guys, I gonna go try NR (national record) this weekend race,” Kiprotich responded to one of the comments on his post.
Kiprotich last broke the NR when he came second at the Tokyo Marathon in Japan when he posted two hours and 6:33 minutes in second place.
Kiprotich has since respected the norm and he will run his second marathon of the year at the Toronto Marathon in Canada on Sunday.
Training mate Kenyan Philemon Rono, two-time Toronto Marathon champion, and former Dubai Marathon winner Ethiopian Tsegaye Mekonnen will be Kiprotich’s main challengers.
Kiprotich is a legend by Ugandan standards after his feats at the Olympics and Worlds.
MARATHON CAREER PROGRESSION
2011 - 1st Enschede Marathon (2:07:20)
2011 - 9th Daegu World Champs (2:12:57)
2012 - 3rd Tokyo Marathon (2:07:50)
2012 - 1st London Olympics (2:08:01)
2013 - 6th London Marathon (2:08:05)
2013 - 1st Moscow World Champs (2:09:51)
2013 - 12th New York Marathon (2:10:56)
2014 - 12th London Marathon (2:11:37)
2014 - 5th New York Marathon (2:13:25)
2015 - 2nd Tokyo Marathon (2:06:33)
2015 - 6th Beijing World Champs (2:14:42)
2016 - 4th Tokyo Marathon (2:07:46)
2016 - 14th Rio Olympics (2:13:32)
2017 - 2nd Hamburg Marathon (2:07:31)
2017 - 2nd Fukuoka Marathon (2:07:10)
2018 - 5th Hamburg Marathon (2:07:57)
KIPROTICH AT A GLANCE
Date of Birth: February 27, 1989
Main Event: Half-Marathon, Marathon
Personal Best: 1:01.15 (Half-Marathon),
Manager: Jurrie van der Velden
Twitter Handle: @Stephen42k
Kit Sponsor: Nike