What you need to know:
- World bronze medallist will team up with Kipchoge and Cherono in men’s 42km race.
- Marathoner heaps praises on his mentor Kipchoge ahead of big showdown.
The 2019 World Athletics Championships marathon bronze medallist, Amos Kipruto, is banking on rigorous preparation to deliver victory on his first appearance at the 2020 Olympic Games in Japan.
The men’s marathon race will take place in Sapporo, some 832 kilometres from Tokyo on August 8 and Kipruto reckons team work will be key.
“I am going to the Olympics for the first time and although everyone will run his race, we will support one another and work as a team to deliver medals,” he said.
Kipruto said it has been a long wait for the Olympics since the games were postponed last year due to the coronavirus pandemic which affected sporting activities globally.
Kipruto, who covered a 30km stretch along Mosoriot-Kabiyet road in Nandi County yesterday, said he is injury-free and will finalise his preparations in the next few days. He anticipates strong competition from Kenya’s traditional rivals in the distance.
“It promises to be a very competitive race, especially with opponents from neighbouring Ethiopia in the mix but we have a good team. The good thing is that everyone has rested well,” said Kipruto, who has a personal best time of 2hrs,03min,30sec.
He has been holding alternate training sessions at Kapsabet, Mosoriot and Chesangwer areas as one way of preparing for the high temperatures expected during the race in Sapporo.
“My coach has put me on different training programmes. Due to the high temperatures expected in Sapporo, I have trained at Chesangwer which experiences similar temperatures as Sapporo, and this will be of great help,” added Kipruto, who claimed bronze in sweltering Doha heat during the 2019 World Athletics Championships.
Kipruto has tested his new brand of Adidas shoes known as Adizero Pro 2 which he says feel comfortable on the leg.
“I have tried out the shoes today and they feel light, comfortable and ideal for the race which is about three weeks away,” he added.
In Sapporo, he will team up with Boston Marathon champion Lawrence Cherono and world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge, who is also the defending champion.
He has high hopes that the marathon race will be life-changing and a historic moment for Kenyan fans, especially if they win all the medals on offer.
“We need to have a positive mind and to be disciplined to ensure we bring home the medals. We have a strong team. Competing alongside the world record holder (Eliud Kipchoge) will be a privilege. He has always inspired me,” he said.
Even though Covid-19 disrupted the athletics season globally last year, the athlete says that everyone in the group is well prepared for the race besides meeting all the health requirements ahead of the race.
The young athlete reckons the women’s marathon team is capable of sweeping all the medals on August 7.