Elite athletes gear up

Elite athletes gear up

Wilson Kipsang eyes a strong performance in Sundays race

Elite athletes gear up

Runners Grace Momanyi of Kenya (left), Tatyana Aryasova of Russia (centre) and Wilson Kipsang of Kenya look at the route map of Sunfeast World 10K at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Thursday. DH Photo

Fourth in last year’s World 10K, Kipsang is among the favourites for this year’s race on Sunday and the Kenyan feels a win here would be an ideal preparatory exercise for the Commonwealth Games later this year.

"This is an important race for me as I begin my preparations for the Commonwealth Games. The trials for the national team are slated to be held in August and I want to be ready for it,” said the 28-year-old Kenyan in an interaction with the media here on Thursday.

“I am happy with my training after the Paris Marathon and am satisfied with the manner my body has responded. The weather is good and going by the field I am sure the course record will be broken,” said the tall Kenyan. The course record of 27:52 seconds stands in the name of Eritrean Zersenay Tadse, set in 2009.

Kipsang has been a steady performer but his Paris show is expected to push him up by a level. In an exciting finish, Kipsang ended just two second behind his compatriot Alfred Kering with Ethiopian Tadesse Tola winning the race in 2:06:41.

The world record in marathon stands in Haile Gebrselassie’s name at 2:03:59 set in 2008 but Kipsang felt it was possible to improve upon it.

“I think yes, you can improve on the world record time. But it depends on a lot of factors and some luck. You need to have a good field, climate and good form," said the Kenyan who idolises Paul Tergat, his legendary compatriot.