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Kimetto eyes course record in London

Dennis Kimetto in a London Marathon promotion before the race.

Dennis Kimetto in a London Marathon promotion before the race.

World record holder Dennis Kimetto is targeting a course record in today’s London Marathon.

The 32-year-old is the only man to have run under two hours three minutes. His world record of 2hrs 2mins 57secs was set in Berlin in September 2014 – the last six bests have been set in Berlin – and may be beyond him.

But Kimetto has two-time winner Wilson Kipsang’s 2014 London best of 2:04:29 in his sights today, when fellow Kenyans Kipsang, whose overall best is 2:03:23, and defending champion Eliud Kipchoge will also be bidding for victory.

“For me I need to run a good time and get a good position – maybe the course record,” Kimetto said.

“Because Kipchoge and Kipsang are there, we need to push together.”

Kimetto endured a difficult end to 2015 and did not compete in the World Championship marathon in Beijing, won by Eritrea’s Ghirmay Ghebreslassie, who is also in action in London.

Asked to analyse his condition now compared to his shape when he set the world record, Kimetto said: “If you compare, I think it is the same.”

The Kenyan trio are confident the anti-doping travails at home have been resolved and they will be permitted to compete August’s Olympics in Rio.

The London Marathon offers the final chance to stake a claim for selection as Kenya’s three Rio runners will be selected this week, although the criteria for selection is not clear.

Defending champion Kipchoge has a record that includes five wins from his six marathons run so far, while Kipsang is aiming for a third win in London.

Kimetto was third in 2015 and, in a competitive field, could miss out on Rio. If he does, he will aim to better his world record in Berlin in September.

“If they select me to go to Rio, I am ready to go. If they don’t select me, I am going to Berlin,” he said.

Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele, the 5,000 and 10,000 metres world record holder, is also in the London field and eager to set the marathon best one day too.

“I’m still improving and my goal would be targeting in the future the world record,” Bekele said.

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