NAIROBI, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- Former Olympic marathon bronze medalist Wilson Kipsang says he will compete at the Vitality Big Half Marathon in London on March 10 as part of his preparation for the London Marathon in April.
Kipsang, who turns 37 in March, is returning to London for the first time in two years and feels he has what it takes to conquer the event once more. The Kenyan set the world marathon record of 2:03:23 in 2013, before it was toppled by compatriots Dennis Kimettos in 2014 and Eliud Kipchoge last year.
"I am very pleased to share with the world that I will be running the London Marathon. After being absent for two years, I will be ready to run the streets of London again. However, I start with the half marathon in March to gauge my preparedness and see where I need to improve in training," said Kipsang on Friday in Iten.
Kipsang will face stiff competition in the Vitality Big Half from compatriot and former London Marathon champion Daniel Wanjiru and local favorite Mo Farah.
"I have resumed training because I want to go to London and prove my critics wrong. Since my win in 2017, I have had it rough with injury and poor form. It has lasted for almost two years, but I want that to change and start winning in 2019," said Wanjiru.
Kipsang won the London Marathon in 2012 and 2014 and is also a former marathon world record holder, while Wanjiru won in London in 2017.
Farah won the Vitality Big Half last year by outsprinting Wanjiru in 61:40 and will be looking for another win in the build-up to the London Marathon on April 28.
"Winning is important to me in this half marathon. But what I intend to ascertain is my fitness," said Wanjiru. "In 2018, I was never lucky enough to get to the podium in any marathon, but that will change because I still know I have the talent."
The London Half Marathon once again doubles up as the British Half Marathon Championships, and a strong domestic field includes Andy Vernon, Dewi Griffiths, Jonny Mellor, Josh Griffiths and Matt Sharp.