Top Five Career Highlights Of New York Marathon Champ Kamworor

Oct 30 - by SPN Correspondent for sportpesa news

Kenyan three-time World Cross and World Half winner will put his title on the line at the Big Apple on Sunday

Kenya's Geoffrey Kipsang Kamworor cuts the tape to win the 2017 New York Marathon. PHOTO/File

  • Here the 25-year-old Kenyan superstar athlete hits the rewind button on his medal-laden career to select five highlights
  • It was unfortunate for Joshua that in the latter stages he struggled badly, and when I went past him I hit the front. He has spent some time in Kaptagat training with him

KAPTAGAT, Kenya- New York Marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor hopes to mount a successful defence of his title in the “Big Apple” on Sunday.

Here the 25-year-old Kenyan superstar athlete hits the rewind button on his medal-laden career to select five highlights.

The 2011 IAAF World Cross Country Championships – Punta Umbria

“I have fond memories of winning the junior (U20) race. It was my first global title and it gave me a lot of confidence for the future. I had joined Global (Sports Communication) only a few months earlier and I’d been training hard.

“I had finished fourth at the Kenyan Trials to qualify in the World Cross team. It is always so tough to qualify for the Kenyan team, so I knew I was amongst the best (in the world). If I trained hard and maintained my focus, I said to myself ‘I will finish number one’.

“As a youngster, I’d admired so many athletes who had put on the Kenyan vest, so it was great morale boost to be able to do the same for the first time.

“I recall controlling the race from the front early on and from that point on I never thought anyone could beat me. Crossing the line first (where he won the race by a victory margin of six seconds from Uganda’s Thomas Ayeko) gave me a lot of motivation to improve my training and preparation. At that time, It was the best moment of my career but I knew there was a lot more to come. It was a nice feeling to be a world champion.”

The 2014 World Half Marathon Championships – Copenhagen

“The previous month I’d finished sixth in the Tokyo Marathon in a time of 2:07:37 – which was not the performance I was looking for. So after Tokyo my coach (Patrick Sang) and I made the decision to target the World Half. The preparation, combining some easy training with longer runs and speedwork, went well. I was confident of performing in Copenhagen because in 2013 I had posted the fastest half-marathon time in the world of 58:54 (in Ras Al Khaimah).

“I remember going up against a quality field in Copenhagen containing the defending champion and world record holder Zersenay Tadese (of Eritrea) but that did not worry me because I knew I’d prepared well. At 15km I broke away from the field and no-one was able to chase me down. To win (in a time of 59:08 by a margin of 13 seconds) was a great feeling. I had previously won a junior title but to claim my first senior crown proved that I had arrived among the top athletes.”

The 2015 World Cross Country Championships – Guiyang

“I’d finished second at the Kenyan Cross Country Trials but enjoyed a positive period of training in the countdown to the World Cross Country Championships, and I was confident of a good showing.

“As I recall, the course was a classic cross country mix of jumps, uphill and downhill sections. We (Kenyans) also ran as a team determined to set a fast pace. It was nice to run too with a good friend in Bedan Karoki, who went on to win the silver medal. It was only towards the end that the race became ‘every man for himself’.

“I managed to pull ahead and claim gold. It was important for my career to add a second senior global title to my name.”

The 2016 World Half Marathon Championships – Cardiff

“In 2015 I won a 10,000m silver behind Mo Farah at the World Championships in Beijing and although it was nice to win a medal, I always want to win gold. I then switched my focus to the World Half Marathon Championships in Cardiff, which was at that point the most significant race of my career.

“I went there as defending champion determined to retain my title but the weather conditions were horrible. It was both wet and windy and I slipped and fell heavily on my knee at the start of the race. I lost a lot of ground on the leaders and I knew from that moment on I was in a real fight to secure the gold.

“The knee was initially painful, but once I got back to my feet and re-started running, thankfully, the pain subsided. I knew from that point I would be okay, I just had to focus on the race. At around 3km I caught up with the leaders and my confidence started to build again.

“The conditions were tough and at one point in the race I felt hailstones, which is something I’d never experienced before. To go on and win the race in a slick time of 59:10 (and an extraordinary winning margin of 26 seconds) with all the adversity I’d faced, was so satisfying.”

The 2017 World Cross Country Championships – Kampala

“I went there as defending champion but knew it would be a tough competition, particularly because of the strong home challenge led by my NN Running Team colleague and friend Joshua Cheptegei. As I recall the humidity and temperature was high.

“The start of the race went smoothly only for Joshua to break away. He was running at a really quick tempo and I could not go with him, so I settled into my own race. I never lost hope that I could win. As a champion you have to think this way.

“It was unfortunate for Joshua that in the latter stages he struggled badly, and when I went past him I hit the front. He has spent some time in Kaptagat training with him. He is like a brother to me, so I really felt for him. I remember the crowd went silent when I took the lead.

“It was significant win for me because it was another world title, another gold medal and another successful defence of a global crown.”

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