Kipruto: Mental strength spurred me to victory

Amos Kipruto

Kenya's Amos Kipruto breaks the tape to win the men's race at the finish of the 2022 London Marathon in central London on October 2, 2022.
 

Photo credit: Glyn Kirk | AFP

What you need to know:

  • Kipruto said he was spurred on by the support from millions of Kenyans, his manager Gianni Demadonna, coach Claudio Berardelli, physiotherapist Shadrack Kochom, training mates and family.
  • “I was under pressure but well prepared for any eventuality. I just had to produce something nice after Eliud Kipchoge had broken the world record the other Sunday,” Kipruto, who dedicated his victory to his coach Berardelli, said.

In London

Kenyan marathoner Amos Kipruto has came close to winning the major city marathons several times but fell short.

Before winning the London Marathon on Sunday, Kipruto had registered three podium finishes in the World Marathon Majors (six of the largest and most renowned marathons globally) but none of these were victories.

Kipruto finished third in 2018 Tokyo Marathon, and returned second in 2018 Berlin Marathon.

He then claimed bronze at the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha, and finished eighth at the 2020 Tokyo Marathon.

He finished second in Tokyo Marathon this year in personal best time of two hours, three minutes and13 seconds.

But yesterday, Kipruto won his maiden race in the World Marathon Majors on his first appearance at the 2022 London Marathon.

He attributed the victory to mental strength, given that he was the only Kenyan in the men’s marathon.

“I felt confident and determined in my mind, and my body was strong. I did not feel any tension in the race. Even if they (Ethiopians) were to inject some pace in the race, I was prepared for it,” said Kipruto.

He broke away from a pack of seven athletes that included five Ethiopians to recapture the title Kenya won last in 2019 in 2:04:39.

Kipruto’s victory came moments after Kenya’s Joycilline Jepkosgei had relinquished the women’s title to 23-year-old Yalemzerf Yehualaw of Ethiopia (2:17:26) who became the youngest winner of the women’s race despite falling in the closing miles. Jepkosgei was second in 2:18:07.

It was the first time Kipruto was running in London as he majestically recapture the title Eliud Kipchoge won last for Kenya in 2019.

Ethiopian Leul Gebreselasie was second in 2:05:12 followed by Belgian Abdi Bashir in 2:05:19 as Kenenisa Bekele finished fifth in 2:05:53.

Kipruto said he was spurred on by the support from millions of Kenyans, his manager Gianni Demadonna, coach Claudio Berardelli, physiotherapist Shadrack Kochom, training mates and family.

“I was under pressure but well prepared for any eventuality. I just had to produce something nice after Eliud Kipchoge had broken the world record the other Sunday,” Kipruto, who dedicated his victory to his coach Berardelli, said.

“He has been there for me for many years.”

Kipruto was elated to join the exclusive club of world marathon majors winners.

Alemu Megirtu from Ethiopian finished third in the women’s race in 2:18:32 as world marathon silver medallist Judith Korir came in fourth in 2:18:43.

Kenyan women had dominated to win the last six editions of the London Marathon.

“Finishing the race in a respectable position was what was on my mind after the Ethiopian broke away in the last kilometres,” said Jepkosgei, who said she was better prepared unlike when she won last year.

“It was my dream to retain my title but I guess it didn’t work this time around.”

Korir said it was a blessing in disguise when she was told to run a full marathon two weeks before the race.

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