Kenya's Kirui aims at lowering Gebreselassie's title in 2011

09:04, June 07, 2010      

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World marathon title holder, Abel Kirui, has set his sights on lowering the 2:03:59 all time best mark over the distance held by Ethiopia's Haile Gebrselassie next year.

Kirui, an Administration Police (AP) officer who competed and failed to finish in the men's 5,000m final during their national championships on Saturday captured the world title in 2:06:54 in Berlin last year.

He finished fifth at April's London Marathon where he was on course for victory before fading after the 35km mark when Ethiopia's Tsegay Kebede broke him and went on for the win.

"I feel it in my heart, deep down in my heart, I can break the world record next year," Kirui who ran 2:08:04 for fifth in London where Kebede, the athlete he beat for bronze at the World Championships broke the tape in 2:05:19 for the title snapping Kenya's seven year winning run in the process.

"It was not good to let the London title go but truth be told, Tsegay was in good shape but I was in good shape too. I think what caused me victory was a slight illness I had that made me over train when I recovered two weeks before the race," he said.

"I' m now preparing for New York Marathon and will compete at a half marathon race in Japan next month as part of build-up."

With Gebrselassie also announcing his entry for New York Marathon earlier on June 2, Kirui has the chance to take on the world record holder whom he to the 2:04:34 previous marathon world record at the 2007 Berlin Marathon where he clocked his career best of 2:06:51 for second.

Gebrselassie lowered the mark to the current 2:03:59 a year later at the same event.

Kirui acted as the pace maker to the Ethiopian at his first marathon of 2008 in Dubai where he failed to finish and later competed at that year' s Vienna Marathon setting a new course record of 2:07:38.

"Fifth place in London was not a bad effort considering how my body reacted and I hope to make up for it in New York. I will not repeat the same things I did wrong for London," Kirui pledged.

Before the Berlin World Championship, Kirui told reporters, "Whoever beats me to the gold, should have his head, not blood (for doping) examined," that was followed by a master class in marathon running that secured Kenya her third gold following Douglas Wakiihuri (1987) and Luke Kibet (2007).

His plans for an assault on the world record should send ripples on marathon running circles.



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