Former world record holder Wilson Kipsang of Kenya on Friday expressed confidence ahead of this weekend’s Tokyo Marathon, saying he believes he can set a new world mark.
With the finish line being moved to in front of Tokyo Station, the course in the capital city is flatter this year, raising the possibility of faster times in Sunday’s race.
“I don’t think it would be a surprise if I rewrote it (the world record),” Kipsang, the London Olympic bronze medalist, told a news conference. He said he would be aiming to complete the race in 2 hours, 2 minutes, 50 seconds.
Kipsang set the world record of 2:03:23 at the Berlin Marathon in 2013. Compatriot Dennis Kipruto Kimetto holds the current world mark of 2:02:57, which was set at the same race the following year.
Sunday’s marathon will serve as a qualifier for Japanese men for the IAAF World Athletics Championships being held in London in August.
Former ekiden star Masato Imai, who was Japan’s highest men’s finisher at seventh in a time of 2:07:39 in the 2015 race, said, “I have got a good feeling. I will go for it.”