What you need to know:
- Runners converge on British capital city for 42nd edition of London Marathon
- Kenya’s ambassador to the UK Esipisu pays glowing tribute to world-conquering athletes as great ambassadors of the country globally
Kenya’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Manoah Esipisu has urged Kenyan athletes to go out and conquer the world at this year’s edition of the London Marathon which will be run on Sunday in the British capital city.
Speaking to Nation Sport in London on Friday, Esipisu said that the London Marathon has always been a big stage for Kenyan athletes, who have made it look like home.
“The London Marathon is no doubt one of the finest races in the World Marathon Majors series. It’s a huge stage and a place where many Kenyan athletes come to achieve their dreams in sports,“ said Esipisu, adding that Kenyans in the United Kingdom and around the world are looking forward to celebrating another victory tomorrow on the streets of the British capital city.
“We shall be praying as well as routing for them,” said Esipisu, who called on the 2019 World Athletics Championships marathon bronze medallist, Amos Kipruto to stand firm in the men’s race, and not be cowed by the presence of Ethiopian opponents.
“We know he (Kipruto) is our only representative in a sea of Ethiopian rivals in the men’s marathon but he has come of age. Go on and overrun them,” Esipisu said as he urged Kipruto, who will be making his debut at the London Marathon, to go for glory.
“We are confident Amos will be able to reclaim the title Kenya won last two years ago,” said Esipisu, who called on Kipruto to find inspiration from two times Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge, who broke his own world marathon record when winning the Berlin Marathon in two hours, one minute and nine seconds on Sunday.
Esipisu urged the London Marathon women’s defending champion, Joyciline Jepkosgei, World Athletics Championships marathon silver medallist Judith Korir and Boston Marathon bronze medallist Mary Wacera not to look back as they seek to defended the country’s honour, and to extend the country’s rich athletics tradition in London.
Kenya has won the past six editions of the London Marathon.
Esipisu, who was speaking to Nation Sport at the Kenyan Embassy in Portland, England, paid tribute to Kenyan athletes as great ambassadors of the country.
Esipisu said the London Marathon draws huge media coverage across the world as it is beamed live on TV across millions of homes globally.
“That translates to seeing Kenyan athletes and the country around the world. Talk about Kenya’s majesty, achievements and competition that is unrivalled, “ noted Esipisu.
“Having the country follow the race live on TV for over two hours because of our athletes is satisfying. It’s a story that will be talked about for months to come, hence a major marketing tool for our country,” said Esipisu.
Esipisu explained that the whole world was focussed on Kenya’s achievements when Eliud Kipchoge set the course record in 2019 London Marathon when winning in a time of 2:02:37, and broke the World Record on Sunday in Berlin.
“Having Kipchoge as the special guest on the eve of the race, running alongside future champions in London is great motivation and inspiration to the World of sports and humanity,” said Esipisu.
Esipisu said Kenya and Britain can collaborate in many spheres of sports beyond athletics with Bristol University having hosted Team Kenya for training ahead of the 2012 London Olympic Games.
He hoped that the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham had played a big role in opening up Kenya’s scope in sports in discovering new fields of sports.
“Great Britain has embraced science, which plays a big role in sports with modern facilities coming in handy. This is where we can collaborate more. It will be a win-win situation as Britain also learns from Kenya in long distance race preparations,” said Esipisu.