Champs Kirui, Wanjiru now eye world marathon title in London

Indo Asian News Service

Nairobi, April 26 (IANS) London Marathon champion Daniel Wanjiru and relative unknown Geoffrey Kirui, who won in Boston, will give the Kenya team to the World Championships a new look in August.

With known names like Dennis Kimetto, Geoffrey Mutai, Wilson Kipsang and Eliud Kipchoge all engaged or injured, the country must focus on the crop of upcoming marathon runners to draw from the best three that will carry the country's flag high in London in August, reports Xinhua news agency.

Wanjiru, 24, who won the London marathon last week has confirmed that he is planning to return to the British capital for the World Championships in August.

"I am more than ready to represent Kenya for the first time - that has always been my dream. I want to go back to London in proper national colours now," Wanjiru said on Wednesday.

Wanjiru added that he is only planning to contest one race, a half marathon, between now and the World Championships.

On the other hand, Kirui, who was unknown until his victory in Boston, has shouted his name for the race and will be waiting for the cue from the panel of selectors when the team is named next month to start his preparations.

Kirui's best previous marathon was a third-place debut in Rotterdam last year and his personal best time was a 2:06:27 for seventh in Amsterdam.

But the 24-year-old asserted his prowess in the distance when he obliterated the field to return first to the finish line.

"In my mind, I was sure that one day I would win this race. I have attained that feat in Boston, now it is up to the coaches to give me a chance to represent the country at the World Championships," he said.

"In Boston, I knew it was going to be tough and I would face some seasoned runners, who have run many times and have posted faster times," said Kirui.

Kenya had selected the Boston and London marathons as the two events to be used as trials for selection to the marathon team for the London World Championships.

But with relatively new athletes triumphing in the men's race, it may have to push in an experienced athlete to serve as the steel around which the silk of the inexperienced runners like Kirui and Wanjiru will be wrapped around.

--IANS

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