Kamworor: I did it for my mentor, Kipchoge
After his triumph last Sunday at the TSC New York Marathon, Geoffrey Kipsang Kamworor is now shifting his focus on hunting a fourth IAAF World Half Marathon title slated for next year, March 24, in Valencia, Spain.
In an interview with Citizen Digital upon arrival at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on Tuesday night, Kamworor revealed that he did not expect to clinch the victory, though he had aimed for a podium finish.
Kamworor added that he did not want to disappoint his friend, mentor, and training mate, Eliud Kipchoge, the Olympic champion and two time BMW Berlin Marathon title holder, who was waiting for him at the finish line.
His wish came true when he stunned road race veteran and former world record holder Wilson Kipsang, to claim top podium place in 2 hours, 10 minutes and 53 seconds. While Kipsgang who tried to sneak past him at the finish line was forced to settle for second place in 2:10.56, ahead of 2013 Moscow World Championships silver medalist Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia (2:11.32).
“I thank God for the victory I had prepared myself well for the race. I was just aiming to be among the top three. This was my first victory out of six races, and to make it special, it was a major marathon. I’m looking forward to defending the title next year,”
“I knew that Eliud was at the finish line. I kept on thinking how great it would be if I won this race because he motivates me a lot,” said Kamworor.
The 24- year old, two times IAAF World Cross Country champion pointed out that he is not in a hurry to retire from the track and cross country. Although he will first have to consult his coach Patrick Sang, the 1992 Barcelona Olympics Games steeplechase silver medalist, and two time world silver medalist in 1991 and 1993, on how to approach the 2018 season.
“It will be my joy if I will be given an opportunity to go and defend my World Half Marathon title next year. I am not in a hurry to specialize only in road races. I can still compete on the track and the cross country. I do believe we have an opportunity to reclaim the 5,000m and 10,000m titles,” Kamworor who won silver in 10,000m at the 2015 Beijing World Championship, said.
Kamworor is the second athlete to express interest with Team Kenya for the World Half Marathon Championships set for Spain in March next year, after two time women’s world record holder Joyciline Jepkosgei.
Jepkosgei recently shed off a second from her Praque Half Marathon to win the Valencia Half Marathon in 1:04. 51.
The NY marathon is Kamworor’s second victory this season after successfully defending his 2015 Guiyang World X-Country title earlier this year in Kampala on March 26. He also finished third in 13 minutes, 01.35 seconds at the Eugene Diamond League in May 27, behind Briton Mo Farah (13:00.70) and Ethiopian Yomi Kejelcha (13:01.21).
About two months later during the August IAAF World Championships that were held in London, UK, he came home empty handed after finishing sixth in 26 minutes and 57. 77 seconds in the men’s 10,000m finals.
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