NAIROBI, Kenya- With slightly over a month to go before the 2018 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Valencia, Spain, 2016 silver winner Bedan Karoki has trained his guns on a podium finish.
Karoki, who took the second medal at Cardiff 2016 behind countryman Geoffrey Kipsang Kamworor, believes his friend who also led him to the line at the 2015 Guiyang World Cross in China remains the man to beat.
Speaking to SportPesa News Karoki, who will be the headline act at Friday’s lucrative Ras-Al-Khaimah (RAK) Half Marathon in the UAE where he is seeking a second successive crown, stressed he has learned a lot from training with and competing against the two-time World Half and New York Marathon titleholder.
“I know it will be hard to dethrone him, but that is a challenge I want to pursue,” the 27-year-old stated.
The Beijing 2015 IAAF Worlds fourth finisher over 10000m maintains their mission first is to defend the title for Kenya before the battle for the gold comes down to the man who wants it more on March 24.
“My training is coming along nicely and therefore, I will not say there is anything holding me back. To be the best, you have to beat the best, as the cliche goes and that motivates me,” the Japan-based runner added.
He is counting on teammates Kamworor, World Cross silver winner, Leonard Barsoton, Joram Okombo Lumbasi and Barselius Kipyego to pool their talent together and keep the World Half title in Kenya’s trophy cabinet.
“I want to win, but it should be known that the best result will be Kenyan topping the charts. It is an honour to represent your country,” Karoki emphasised.
The Olympian insisted his RAK debut is part of his preparation programme for the World Half.
“People should not read much into the RAK results, but ultimately victory will mean I’m on the right track,” Karoki stressed.