Kenya marathon champion Samuel Wanjiru to train in Japan

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World half marathon champion Samuel Wanjiru of Kenya is expected to leave the country next week for Japan where he will start preparations for the Beijing Olympic Games.

Wanjiru, who finished second in the London Marathon early this month, said he would return home in July to join the rest of the Kenyan squad for the Olympic Games.

One of the nine Kenyan runners picked for the Beijing marathon, Wanjiru said he would improve on his training techniques to enhance his chances of bagging a medal at the Olympics.

Wanjiru, London Marathon winner Martin Lel, four-time Boston Marathon winner Robert Cheruiyot and Rotterdam Marathon winner William Kipsang are among the nine marathoners in the Kenyan team.

Much as the neighbouring Ethiopia appears set to end Kenya’s dominance of long distance events in the world, the east African country of 38 million still parades some of the best past and present long-distance runners in the world.

Among the present long-distance bigwigs is the reigning women’s marathon World champion Catherine Ndereba – four-time Boston Marathon champion and the first women to win the prestigious event four times.

Also worth mentioning is a former five-time World Cross Country champion, Paul Tergat.

Tergat is also a former men’s marathon World record holder and former two-time Olympic 10,000m silver medalist.

Athletics coach Francis Kamau, who nurtured Wanjiru, said he believes that the athlete is aggressive and may bring back to Kenya the world Marathon record.

The record, which was formerly held by Tergat, is currently in the hands of Ethiopian icon Haile Gebreselassie. Panapress .

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