Record can wait as Kipsang aims to retain crown

Frank Dalleres
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DEFENDING men’s champion Wilson Kipsang is predicting a fast London Marathon on Sunday but is happy to pass up a world record in favour of focusing on winning the race for a third time.

Kipsang’s biggest threat is his fellow Kenyan and training partner Dennis Kimetto, who last year in Berlin became the first man to run the 26-mile event in less than two hours, three minutes.

“My main aim is not the world record but to retain the title and run a good time. With this kind of field, it will be a fast race and more tactical,” said Kipsang. “I’m expecting a big challenge from Dennis. I have more experience in marathons but he has done very well in the few he’s done.”

Women’s champion Edna Kiplagat insists she is even stronger than last year as the Kenyan aims for consecutive wins.

“My training has gone really well this year, far better than it went before the 2014 race,” said Kiplagat. “I’ve focused on this race and believe it will go well on Sunday.”

Britain’s Paul Radcliffe, whose women’s marathon world record still stands 12 years on, is set to run the race for the last time but the 41-year-old does not expect to challenge the elite athletes.