Nairobi, Apr 16: Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge says he has his focus on winning the London marathon and not dominating the World Marathon Majors (WMM) contest. Speaking in Eldoret, Kipchoge said in marathon, one has to know who they are and what they intend to achieve and focus solely on that. "To be successful in sport, it is not by chance. It is a choice. If you want to be successful, you need to choose and to know who you are, what you stand for, where you want to go and how to get there," said Kipchoge on Tuesday in Eldoret.
The London marathon will be on April 28 and already Kipchoge's rivals have set the bar high, especially those who were in Boston, with Kenya's Lawrence Cherono sprinting past Ethiopia's two-time champion Lelisa Desisa to win in 2:07:57. Desisa settled for silver in 2:07:59 with Kenneth Kipkemoi finishing third in 2:08:07 ahead of fellow Kenyans Felix Kandie (2:08:54) and Geoffrey Kirui (2:08:55) rounding out the top five.
From the results, Desisa is the new leader in the World Marathon Majors standings, which has a prize pack of 25 million shillings (250,000 U.S. dollars). The WMM circuit has stops in Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago, New York and Tokyo. After his second place in Boston, Desisa has 41 points. He is followed by four runners with 25 points Birhanu Legese, Eliud Kipchoge, Lawrence Cherono and Mo Farah.
With the London Marathon just around the corner, it will fall to Kipchoge and Farah, both on 25 points, to try to overhaul Desisa with a first or second place finish.
In the women front, Boston women winner Worknesh Degefa joins Gladys Cherono, Mary Keitany and Brigid Kosgei of Kenya on 25 points, all of them will be chasing to beat Ruti Aga on 41 during the London marathon race next week. But for Kipchoge, who has every race he has competed in since 2014, London will present two of the greatest long distance runners of all time and as he goes head to head with Farah he believes it is safer to view his opponent like any other competitor and believes his best strategy to run faster.
"I have put a lot of sacrifice in this preparations and I believe with it comes big success," said Kipchoge. "I have won 11 out of 12 marathon races. But I believe in a philosophy where you are climbing a tree and when you hold a branch you move to the next. The 2018 was a great year, but we must aspire to get better in 2019," said Kipchoge. (XINHUA)