Cheptegei backs Kipchoge to bounce back from London waterloo


Cheptegei backs Kipchoge to bounce back from London waterloo
FILE PHOTO: Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge, the marathon world record holder, runs wearing Nike Vaporfly shoes during his attempt to run a marathon in under two hours in Vienna, Austria, October 12, 2019. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger/File Photo

In Summary

  • Kipchoge who was the pre-race favourite failed to defend his title in the English capital as he finished a distant eighth in a race won by Ethiopia’s Shura Kitata.
  • The Olympic champion who was seeking a fifth title later revealed that he experienced complications with his right ear having blocked while in action.

World 10,000m champion Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda has tipped marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge to bounce back from the shock defeat suffered at the 40th edition of the London Marathon on Sunday.

Kipchoge who was the pre-race favourite failed to defend his title in the English capital as he finished a distant eighth in a race won by Ethiopia’s Shura Kitata.

The Olympic champion who was seeking a fifth title later revealed that he experienced complications with his right ear having blocked while in action.

Cheptegei has likened Kipchoge’s situation with his own disastrous performance at the 2017 World Cross Country Championships which was held in his home turf.

“What I saw in London was something that had not crossed my mind; that Eliud was going to be beaten. However you never know what will happen in a race. I got a problem in Kampala in 2017. We are still human beings and we are prone to different kinds of challenges and sometimes things are not going well with our bodies. I wish him a quick recovery and I know he will bounce back stronger,” said Cheptegei who is under the same management as Kipchoge.

World record

The 24-year-old will be attempting to break the 10,000m world record on Wednesday in a special event dubbed NN Valencia World Record Day set for Turia Stadium in Valencia, Spain.

The in-form Ugandan will be attacking the world record mark of 26:17.53 set by Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele in 2005.

In the well-executed event, just like at the Brussels Diamond League where One-Hour world records fell, wavelight technology will be employed as a reference over the waning kilometres.

Similarly, pace makers will play a crucial role with Dutchman Roy Hoornweg being the first pacemaker, gunning to cover the opening 1500 metres in 3:55 before Australia’s Ryan Gregson takes command.

Kenya’s Nicholas Kimeli, fresh from notching a 5000m win at the Kip Keino Classic will pick over the baton at 3,000m mark and will try to reach the 6,000m mark.

Having lowered the 5,000m world record in Monaco in August, Cheptegei is confident of breaking the 10,000m record.

“I know it is hard but I am harder. I have shown in different terrains including cross country, over 5km road race and recently in Monaco. Some people were not convinced but I have the 5,000m world record and now the next goal is to try and break the 10,000m record and I believe I can,” said Cheptegei in a pre-race conference.

World 10,000m silver medallist Letesenbet Gidey of Ethiopia will be targeting fast times in the women’s 5,000m with the aid of among others the world 30000m steeplechase champion Beatrice Chepkoech.

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Story By Gilbert Kiprotich
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