by John Kwoba
NAIROBI, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- Berlin marathon champion Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya will not focus his attention on representing the country at the World Championships in Moscow, Russia in August.
Instead, he is keen to defend his Berlin title in September.
"I do not want to think of the World Championships in Moscow. You know the issues surrounding our national team. It is never open and transparent. So I do not want to lock down myself. It is better to keep my options open so that in the event they pick me, then I will have a decision to make on where to run," Mutai told Xinhua on Friday from Eldoret.
"Basically, I knew I was in the best frame to compete at the last Olympics, but they left me out. The reason why I did not compete in Boston are known to everyone, but that is already done. For now, my program is the important one and I will manage it," he said.
Mutai, who has a personal best time of 2:03.02 recorded in Boston in 2011, a world fastest though never endorsed by the IAAF, is already planning an assault on the world record of compatriot Patrick Makau of 2:03.38 (Berlin in 2010).
"I am certain the World record of 2:03.38 set by compatriot Patrick Makau will be broken in 2013. It might not be me to do it. But we have a horde of young talented runners bubbling and ready to curve a niche for themselves.
"Look at my training partner Dennis Kipruto. He was nobody two years ago, but today with one marathon in Berlin last year - where he wound up second after Mutai - he is an established marathoner."
"These are the type of people to break the record. It might not be in their next race, but in another five years, it is possible for the record to be lowered as low as under two hours," he said.
Kipruto will be the top ranked athlete at the Tokyo marathon on Feb. 24, where an attempt at the world record will be in his mind as he targets the 120,000 U.S. dollar prize that is on offer (both prize money and course record bonus).
He faces stiff challenge from compatriots James Kwambai, Martin Kipyego, Josphat Ndambiri and Daniel Njenga. Mutai, who has been a mentor to Kipruto, said he will be making his debut at the London marathon in April where he faces a star filled team.
"London has no pace makers and that is great. We check each other out and push as hard as possible. I run my own race and therefore, it will be good to see how the opposition plans to face the course. A world record is too much ambitious to think of in London, but it gives me a chance to break the course record and run under the 2:04 mark," said Mutai.
He has penciled the Ras Al Khaimah half marathon in the United Arab Emirates later this month as dry run to gauge his preparedness for the London marathon.