Team Kenya official reveals how they plan to ensure harmony between Kipchoge & Kiptum at Paris Olympics

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ATHLETICS Team Kenya official reveals how they plan to ensure harmony between Kipchoge & Kiptum at Paris Olympics

Joel Omotto 06:56 - 08.12.2023

The veteran coach has detailed how Team Kenya will ensure both Eliud Kipchoge & Kelvin Kiptum work as a team and deliver gold at the Paris 2024 Olympics despite their emerging rivalry.

Veteran Team Kenya athletics coach Julius Kirwa says Athletics Kenya will have a sit down with Eliud Kipchoge and Kelvin Kiptum and agree on a plan on how they will execute their race during the Paris 2024 Olympics if both of them agree to participate.

World marathon record holder Kiptum and the man whose time he lowered Kipchoge were named on the provisional list of 10 men set to represent Kenya at the Olympics although the list will be whittled down to five in January with just three heading to Paris and two reserves.

Vincent Ngetich, second at the Berlin Marathon this year, Rotterdam Marathon runners-up Timothy Kiplagat, former Chicago and Boston Marathon champion Benson Kipruto, Bernard Koech, two-time New York Marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor, Cyprian Kotut, 2022 London Marathon champion Amos Kipruto and Titus Kipruto are also on the list provisional list but focus has been on Kipchoge and Kiptum.

This is due to the emerging rivalry between the two, especially following Kiptum’s record-breaking heroics in Chicago in October when Kipchoge failed to publicly congratulate him but Kirwa feels there is nothing to worry about as they have a plan to nip in the bud any emerging issues.

“There is going to be harmony because this is a Kenyan team and we have our plan that we will put to them when we meet both. We are ready for that,” said Kirwa.

“I have been leading these teams since 1983 but I have not found someone saying there is rivalry. It is up to the coach to unite these athletes. It can be there especially when their managers influence some things but we are there to guide them.

“It is also important to be patriotic to the nation. That is our responsibility to make sure everyone representing the country is reading from the same page and avoid thigs coming from outside.”

Both Kipchoge and Kiptum have expressed their desire to feature at the Olympics in what could be a rivalry of the ages in Paris.

While Kipchoge is tried and tested and has won back-to-back Olympics gold, Kiptum is emerging as the man to take over from him following his incredibly lower times in the three marathons he has featured in.

Kiptum holds three of the sixth fastest marathon times in history, having made his debut in Valencia (2:01:53) last December before London (2:01:25) in April and Chicago (2:00:35) in October this year.

The 23-year-old, who has been tipped to become the first man to run an official sub-two-hour marathon, will be making his Olympics debut in Paris.

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