Kenya’s world marathon record holder eyes Olympic title

September 28th, 2011 - 4:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Nairobi, Sep 28 (IANS) After reclaiming the world record in marathon, Patrick Makau has set his eyes on helping Kenya retain the marathon crown in the London Olympics next year.

Makau told Xinhua that Kenya’s production line of road races and distance athletes was still active and he must be at his best to stand a chance of competing in London.

“Kenya has huge potential. Many athletes emerge from nowhere and go on to conquer the world. I have to be active and maintain a strict schedule to be able to maintain the same level of fitness, otherwise, it is very easy to be overtaken,” he said Wednesday in Nairobi.

Makau surprised the world when he reduced to shreds Haile Gebrselassie’s 2:03.59 record by setting a new mark of 2:03.38.

“At 27km I pushed harder to see if Haile could follow, but once he failed, I realised that the race was in my hands. So I kept on running and thanks to God, I was able to finish within the record,” he said.

Now Makau, who has dedicated his title and record to the late Olympic marathon champion Samuel Wanjiru, has one main target to clinch the Olympic title.

“I do not know what form I will be in August. From now to August is a long time and many things can happen, but I want to win the Olympics and help Kenya retain the title. But that will depend on my form and if I will be selected,” he said.

Makau broke Haile Gebrselassie’s world record to leap to the top of the World Marathon Majors standings. He produced a brilliant performance to retain his Berlin title as he sliced 21 seconds from Gebrselassie’s 2008 mark with 2:03:38, adding 25 points to the 15 he picked up when finishing third in London this year April.

Makau now has 60 points overall, five more than London Marathon winner Emmanuel Mutai with Tsegaye Kebede lying third with 41.

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