Michael, Bernard charged to lead the men’s marathon for Moscow World Championships

Michael Kipyego (left) and Bernard Kipyego  after the awards ceremony of the men’s Tokyo Marathon in Tokyo, in February.  [PHOTO: AP]
By JONATHAN KOMEN

Nairobi,Kenya:Michael Kipyego will lead the men’s marathon title defence bid at the IAAF World Athletics Championships that runs in Moscow, Russia, on August 18.

Kipyego, who is the older brother of Olympic silver medalist, Sally Kipyego, is keen to stage a comeback in a  national jersey after posting brilliant shows at the junior cadre.

Kipyego, who was a runner-up at the Tokyo Marathon this year, said training under hot weather conditions will boost their resistance in Moscow.

“It’s good to get used to the warm conditions. It will help us overcome harsh conditions like what our women’s team found in London at the Olympics. We can retain the title but it needs a lot of team work and race tactics,” he told FeverPitch after training sessions along the Iten-Kaptarakwa road on Saturday.

“We do most of our training around 10am to help us get used to the summer conditions in Europe and also plan for rigorous ones in the Kerio Valley soon,” he said.

Peter Some, Michael Kipyego, Bernard Kipyego and Nicholas Kipkemboi are on the men’s team.

Also in the mix are Bernard Koech, who won the Rock “N” Roll Half Marathon in 58:41, the fastest time ever run in America and the fastest in the world this year.

star-studded line-up

Incidentally, Michael, Bernard Koech and Bernard Kipyego train under Dutch manager Mitchel Boeting at One-Four-One training camp in Kaptagat.

Ethiopia will parade a star-studded line-up led by London Marathon winner Tsegaye Kebede and Boston Marathon winner Lelisa Desisa.

Bernard, the 2009 World Half Marathon silver medalist in Birmingham, said they are not bothered about the strong Ethiopian line-up.

good training

“We do not want to focus too much on our opponents. We only stick to our training programme and preparations since we are no strangers to them. Let the results in Moscow do the talking,” said Bernard, a bronze medallist at the 2007 World Cross-Country in Mombasa.

The alumnus of Kokibor Primary School in Keiyo South, he is an all-weather runner. “The good training enabled me get good results in Boston when we competed under hot weather conditions,” said Bernard.

Valentine Kipketer and Margaret Akai will test their young legs in the women’s marathon showdown scheduled for August 10 at 3.30pm.

Kipketer banks on a 2:24.20 all-time mark he ran in the Mumbai Marathon while Akai has 2:23.28 she registered at the Daegu Marathon.

Coach Abraham Kiplimo, who handles the team in Iten, vowed to work extra hard and  do everything possible to retain the titles.

“The team is okay, we are sharpening a few areas here but we will work as a team. And I hope we will even surpass the five medals we won in Daegu,” said Kiplimo, a Senior Sergeant at Kenya Prisons.

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Abraham Kiplimo Michael Kipyego Tokyo Marathon