Kiprop’s chance to equal record

New Straits Times - - Sport -

LONDON: Reign­ing cham­pion As­bel Kiprop led a pow­er­ful trio of Kenyans into today’s 1,500 me­tres fi­nal at the World Athletics Championships, giv­ing him­self the chance of shoot­ing for a fourth suc­ces­sive gold medal in the met­ric mile event.

The 28-year-old Kiprop, seek­ing to equal the record of four suc­ces­sive ti­tles set by Morocco’s world record holder Hicham El Guer­rouj, kept out of trou­ble on the wide out­side be­fore sprint­ing home a com­fort­able sec­ond in a ro­bust heat on Fri­day.

He followed home his com­pa­triot Eli­jah Manan­goi, the fastest man in the world this year, who ran a con­trolled race to win the open­ing semi-fi­nal in 3 min­utes 40.10 sec­onds, four-hun­dredths of a sec­ond clear of the on­rush­ing Kiprop.

“I have a lot of ex­pe­ri­ence from world cham­pi­onship races, I’ve been do­ing this for many years and I’m ready for any­thing,” said Kiprop, af­ter do­ing well to steer clear of the fa­mil­iar rough-and­tum­ble of a com­pet­i­tive bat­tle fol­low­ing a slow first lap.

“It was very tac­ti­cal today but there was a lot of push­ing, so I stayed at the back to stay out of trou­ble. I knew I had the speed in my legs over the last lap but I just waited for my mo­ment to ease through and qual­ify.”

Manan­goi said he had bet­ter than in the heats.

“Today was a lot more tac­ti­cal,” he said. “I want any medal but gold would be the one I would love. ” Reuters

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