Asbel Kiprop confirms his participation in the last Athletics Kenya track & field meet in Eldoret, A view from Kenya


Kiprop_AsbelFH-World15.jpgAsbel Kiprop wins 2015 WC, photo by

Last summer, I watched Asbel Kiprop run all of his races outside of Kenya, up to, and including his World Champs. I have interviewed the mild mannered middle distance warrior twice. I like Asbel. He is both a student of the sport and a tactician.

His Monaco race was breath-taking. Kiprop churned down the track, his high knee lift and arm action making him look slow, but deliberate. His speed is that of a fine 800 meter runner.

Then, came Beijing. The men's 1,500 meters was one of the toughest races that I have ever seen, and Asbel Kiprop's move over the last 100 meters gave him the gold.

What will we see in 2016?

Stay tuned!

Asbel Kiprop confirms his participation in the last Athletics Kenya track and field meeting in Eldoret, by Justin Lagat
As witnessed last year, not even during the national Olympic trials in Nairobi can the number of fans reach half of those who would turn up at track meetings in Eldoret. Thousands are expected to turn up at the last Athletics Kenya track and field meeting this weekend at the Kipchoge Stadium.
Also, due to the large number of competitors who will force the organizers to schedule many heats in the 800m, 1500m and 5000m events, the meeting will happen for three days beginning from Thursday, April 14th to Saturday, April 16th.
Asbel Kiprop was one of the athletes who highlighted last year's meeting. Last year, the newly refurbished stadium was being reopened after the laying of a new tartan track on it and some renovations had been done. Asbel had then run a sensational 1500m race that saw him set a new stadium record of 3:36.09, as he ran alone ahead of the rest of the field. This performance at the high altitude venue prepared him for a successful 2015. In 2015, Asbel Kiprop went ahead to run his personal best time of 3:26:69 in Monaco and to win the 1500m world title in Beijing.
He will be back again on the same track this weekend, but doing the 800m distance. This is an Olympic year and most athletes are focusing on being in their best form when the time comes for them at the Rio Olympics to win the most coveted medal in athletics. Kiprop is definitely thinking about that. He is as well thinking about the fraction of a second that prevented him from breaking the 1500m world record in Monaco last year.
On 30th March, Asbel posted on his FaceBook wall: "The moment when all the pressure is on, you to do it. Yes, to run your distance as fast as no one has ever run. The time when your own mom says you can; your father says you will, your shoe company says just do it. And your fans are waiting for it. Your coach, training partners and the media are eagerly waiting for that breakthrough. You will not have accomplished the mission if you don't do it."
Also expected to thrill the fans at the stadium include the multiple world champion, Vivian Cheruiyot and Julius Yego, the 2015 world champion in Javelin, among others.
Many stars do not always announce their intentions to run in the local competitions in Kenya and many of them just turn up on the day of competitions and change into their running gears. It will be the same scenario in Eldoret this weekend.
Last year, many events did not proceed on to the finals because the two days were not enough and the officials had to use times to determine the overall winners in those events. Now that it is going to be a three day event this time round, Saturday will be the climax of the meeting with many finals expected to take place.

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