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Asbel to shift from 1500m to 5000m racing

After a disappointing IAAF World Championships outing in London Asbel Kiprop is planning to shift gears to longer races.

The accomplished 1,500m runner, overwhelming favourite to bag another world title over the distance in London, could only finish in position 9 out of 12 in the final at the Olympic Stadium on Sunday.

Perhaps sensing it is time to move one, Kiprop on Wednesday announced that he will be shifting to the 5,000m race from next year.

Kiprop, who saw compatriots Elijah Manangoi win gold and Timothy Cheruiyot silver, said he wanted to try out something different after dominating 1,500m for about a decade now.

Kiprop said he had been on the track for a decade and it was time to try something new before moving to the road.

“I will be shifting to the 5,000m race but that doesn’t mean I will exit the 1,500m. In fact, it will be good for me since I will be using it in my speed work that helps an athlete in the final lap in long distances,” said Kiprop.

Kiprop said he would start his build up for the longer race after running 1,500m in the two remaining Diamond League meets – Birmingham and Zurich.

“After that I will start preparations for the Commonwealth Games trials next year. I want to be in the team for the games next year, probably in the men’s 5,000m,” said Kiprop.

That means the Uasin Gishu-based athlete will be doubling in both events in the near future.

Kiprop admitted that this season had not been good to him.

“I did not really peak this season, but I thank God so far for the medals I have been able to win for the country,” said the athlete.

Kiprop came into the limelight in 2007 when he participated in the World Cross Country Championships held in Mombasa where he bagged a gold medal in the 6km junior category.

That same year saw Kiprop win gold medal in All Africa Games in Algiers in 1,500m race before taking fourth position in the World Championships held in Osaka Japan.

Having found a momentum in 1,500m race, Kiprop won gold in the 2008 Olympics Games in Beijing, China and bagging silver at the World Athletics Championships in Stuttgart in 2009.

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