Former Olympic and two-time world 1500m champion Asbel Kiprop said Wednesday that he was focusing all his efforts in the coming months on breaking Hicham El Guerruoj’s world record.
The 24-year-old Kenyan, who has dominated the four-lap race since 2008 is planning to attack El Guerruoj’s 16-year-old world mark of 3:26.00 at the IAAF Monaco Diamond League meeting on July 18.
“This is something I have planned since last year. That’s why I have decided to forgo all other competitions and I am now focusing on building my strength and technique for Monaco,” the 2008 Olympic champion told AFP.
But Kiprop, who was noticeably left out of the Kenyan team for the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Glasgow after the national trials in Nairobi last weekend, concedes it will be an uphill task.
“No athlete has been able to match the performance of the great Moroccan. But I believe personally that it can be achieved,” he insisted.
“I have always done very well in the three previous races in Monaco, including last year where I set the fourth fastest time in history of 3:27.72.
“The race in Monaco also comes up at the middle of the year when most athletes are in peak form.”
Kiprop said he would have to rely on the pace-setters to push him towards his goal, although he is likely to face a strong field against fellow Kenyans, Silas Kiplagat and Caleb Mwangangi Ndiku, and world indoor champion Ayanleh Suleiman of Djibouti.