LONDON (Reuters) – Asbel Kiprop, Kenya’s three-time world champion over 1,500 meters, said on Tuesday he has come to London to equal the four world titles of the Moroccan middle-distance great Hicham El Guerrouj.
The 28-year-old Kiprop, a former Olympic champion, hopes to get his fourth championship at the World Athletics Championships, before he moves on to 5,000m.
“I want to become the first and only Kenyan to equal El Geurrouj’s four-title mark, then I move to 5,000m,” Kiprop told Reuters at the Kenyan team hotel in central London. His 1,500m campaign starts on Thursday.
British multiple world champion Mo Farah will again be the favorite in the men’s 5,000m when the qualification rounds start on Wednesday at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Stadium. The last Kenyan to win the 5,000m was Benjamin Limo in 2005 in Helsinki.
“We have a serious challenge in the 5,000m,” Kiprop said. “I hope and pray that I will be able to fulfill my ambition in the 1,500m before setting my eyes on this event (5,000m).”
(Reporting by Isaack Omulo, editing by Larry King)