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‘I HAVE A DREAM’: Amsterdam marathon champion Kipyego wants to go one better

Kenyan runner Bernard Kipyego (2ndL) competes in the Amsterdam Marathon on his way to win the event in Amsterdam, on October 18, 2015. AFP PHOTO

Bernard Kiprop Kipyego now has something special to smile about after his second win at the TSC Amsterdam Marathon on Sunday.

The 30-year-old Kipyego successfully defended his marathon title, as he breathed a sigh of relief after he went for 10 marathon races without a win.

His athletics script, lifestyle and determination do not match his small body stature though. Kiprop, better known as ‘junior’ in athletic circles due his young-looking physique, is no doubt mentioned in the same breath as world marathon record holder Dennis Kimetto (2:02.57) and former record holder Wilson Kipsang, who is preparing to compete at the ING New York City Marathon on November 1.

Not bad for a boy, who had competed for 10 years without a win in sight; but it seems that a river of fortune has continued to flow for him –after he won, for the second time, the title at the TSC Amsterdam Marathon last Sunday.

It was a moment to take pride in for Kipyego, who had finished third in Boston and Chicago marathons last year.

“Having won the Amsterdam Marathon twice means a lot to me especially after I had competed in 10 marathon races without a win. It has been a long journey and I want to take it to the next level as I train my focus in breaking the world record in future just as my friends Dennis Kimetto and Wilson Kipsang did. I know it’s not easy, but I will try,” Kipyego said. As a junior, Kiprop posted brilliant performance when he won silver medal at the 2005 World Cross Country Championships in St Etienne in France, which saw Kenya Prisons coach Abraham Kiplimo baptise him as ‘kijana ya mwaka chache (a man with young age).

Meanwhile, a heavy storm the day before Lisbon hosted the Rock’n’Roll Marathon of Lisbon dampened expectations at the IAAF Gold Label Road Races on Sunday, but it wasn’t enough to stop Purity Rionoripo from setting a marathon course record.

The strong winds and rain down the Portuguese coast 24 hours prior had left a lot of debris and water on the roads.

—Additional reporting by IAAF

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