Kirwa hails Kiprop

By Gilbert Wandera

National athletics coach Julius Kirwa says 1,500m World and Olympic champion Asbel Kiprop can even run faster during the summer games.

Kirwa said he was not surprised by Kiprop’s performance on Friday night at the Monaco Diamond League meeting where he registered the fastest time this year by winning the race in 3:28.88.

“I am not surprised at all by his performance. He has been training very hard all week and he appreciates the decision to have remained in Nairobi.

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“I believe he can do even better and it is possible for him to even run faster during the Olympics but it will depend on the weather and many other factors,” said Kirwa.

He said the athlete has already overcome bad show during the trials to select the Kenyan team to the Olympics when he had to come from behind and nearly missed out.

Kirwa said he expects a good performance from the entire 1,500m team, which also includes Nixon Chepseba and Silas Kiplagat.

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The three have run the fastest time in the world this year and Kirwa says they will be the men to beat in London when the track events start next month.

“They are our greatest hope in London and each of them is a medal hopeful given their form at the moment. We have one more week in training and we will use this to intensify what we have already done in the past,” he said.

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Kirwa is equally satisfied with the overall training so far and pointed out that the last week of training will be crucial in ensuring their medal prospects.

On Friday night, Kiprop showed he means business with less than ten days to the Olympic games by clocking 3:28.88 which is the first sub-3:29 since Zurich’s 2004 edition.

“I came to Monaco to run 3:28 and I’m very happy I was able to do that tonight,” said Kiprop, the reigning World and Olympic champion who became the fifth fastest man ever over the distance.

“I am ready and in shape for London.” he said after the race.

Running close behind the pacesetters through the first two laps, Kiprop led at the bell by a step over compatriot Nixon Chepseba, one he extended over the backstretch, through the turn and down the straight seemingly shrouded by a shield of invincibility.

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Chepseba, who is also London-bound, clocked a personal best 3:29.77 for second while New Zealander Nick Willis closed strongly to take third in 3:30.35.

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