A world record could be on the cards at this Sunday’s Virgin Money London Marathon, according to the man who holds the current fastest ever time. Kenyan Wilson Kipsang set a new world best of 2:03:23 last September when he cruised to victory in the 2013 Berlin Marathon, beating his nearest rival Eliud Kipchoge by more than 40 seconds.
Despite running the greatest marathon in history in the German capital, the 32-year-old believes there is more to come. "I sit here today as the marathon world record holder so I feel full of confidence compared to last year," he said.
"Since setting the world record I've concentrated on recovering well and building up my mileage again slowly. My preparation has gone to plan and I'm looking forward to seeing how fast I can run on Sunday."
Kipsang acknowledged that he learnt a valuable lesson at last year's London Marathon, when he finished fifth after pushing the pace early in the race only to fade before the 30k mark.
"We have a more experienced pacemaker in Haile this year," he joked. "He will take us through halfway in 61:45. Then, because it's such a strong field, one of us needs to be ready to make a move in the second half of the race. It won't be easy, but if I haven't used up too much energy in the first half, I will be ready to push the pace. I believe it's possible to set a world record on the London Marathon course, and if the weather is good on Sunday I'm confident I'll run well."
Kipsang knows he'll have to beat the rest of the world's best runners to reclaim the title he won in 2012. And he isn't underestimating the threat posed by Britain's marathon debutant, Mo Farah.
“Mo has put in some amazing performances on the track so I don't take him lightly, but no one knows how well he'll perform, both mentally and physically, in the marathon," said Kipsang.
"Mo and I have both been training in Iten so we've talked and taken tea together a few times. He told me that his training was going well and that he really enjoyed being based in Iten."