Wilson Kipsang celebrates his victory at the New York Marathon (© Getty Images)
Just days after winning the TCS New York City Marathon, Olympic bronze medallist Wilson Kipsang has set himself the goals of reclaiming his marathon world record and winning a world title.
The 32-year-old broke the marathon world record in Berlin last year with a time of 2:03:23. One day shy of the record making it to its first-year anniversary, training partner Dennis Kimetto shattered the mark in the German capital, clocking 2:02:57.
But Kipsang had the last laugh. Having triumphed in London and New York this year, the Kenyan now leads the World Marathon Majors series and is set to land $500,000 for his efforts.
Nevertheless, he is already looking towards next year when he hopes to improve on Kimetto’s time.
“In athletics, each and every one has his own ambitions,” Kipsang told Kenya’s Capital FM. “So for me I think I have broken the world record and it's still in my mind to get it back because I have not lost confidence to go for it.”
The consistent Kipsang has now won eight of the 11 marathons he has contested to date, including two victories in London, two in Frankfurt, one in New York and one in Berlin. He is targeting adding another victory to that list at next year’s IAAF World Championships in Beijing.
“I had my chance in London and the race did not go well that day,” said Kipsang, whose only international appearance for Kenya to date has been at the 2012 Olympics, where he finished third. “If given another chance to run in Beijing, I will take it since my mission remains winning gold for my beloved country Kenya.”
Although the World Championships are more than nine months away, Kipsang could find himself up against the likes of defending champion Stephen Kiprotich and world silver medallist Lelisa Desisa, both of whom he beat in New York in what he described as one of his toughest races to date.
“It was not easy for me because it was windy and it was my first time in New York,” said Kipsang. “But despite the challenges, I’m happy to emerge the winner. I really feel great for that opportunity because it doesn't happen to every athlete.
“There was a lot of pressure from other competitors who were strong and wanted to win. Towards the final stretch it was very tactical because I saw Lelisa behind me, but I had no worries since I was still feeling strong and he was straining. So I decided to sprint for the finish line. To run such a time in those conditions is hard compared to my usual times of 2:04 or 2:05.”