Former Africa cross country champion Leonard Barsoton has focused on winning the Boston marathon title as a gateway to earn a slot at the 2022 World Athletics championships marathon team.
The former world cross country junior silver medalist will be making his debut in marathon and will start at the world majors’ marathon, which has proved to be the most competitive races across the world.
The Iten based runner said that he wants to win the Boston marathon, which will help him earn a slot in team Kenya for the postponed World Athletics championships to be held in Oregon, USA next year.
“My target is to win the Boston marathon, which will be my ticket for World championships. As much as I am making my debut, it will not be as easy as it is,” said Barsoton.
Barsoton, who finished 6th at the world half marathon last year said that Boston has big names but that will not stop him from winning the title in the American soil set for October 11th.
“It is not all about big names at the starting line-up but the level of preparedness will win a title for me. I have been training and am still training for the race,” added Barsoton.
He said that he has decided to venture into marathon after dominating the half marathon and 10,000m for long and he is ripe for the big challenge.
“I have decided to run in marathons because my body is fit enough for the big challenge. My preparation is good, taking a step by step to ensure that I get that top position in a race that I have never run, hoping for a good race in a new country that I have never run,” said Barsoton.
This year, he has competed in two half marathons where he finished at the Lille Half marathon, 5th at the Istanbul half marathon adding on his 5th position at the New Delhi, finishing 6th at Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) half marathon and winning Kolkata 25km Road Race with a course record of 63:05 after lowering Kenenisa Bekele’s record of 63:45.
“This will be my first marathon and I know the athletes who will be competing are also preparing but on my side, I know I am capable of pulling a surprise on the course,” said the former All Africa Games 10,000m silver medalist.
He will be facing fellow Kenyans led by former Toronto Marathon champion Benson Kipruto, three time Amsterdam marathon champion Wilson Chebet, Filex Kipkoech, Felix Kiprotich, two time Paris marathon champion Paul Lonyangata, former world marathon champion Geoffrey Kirui and David Bett, who will also be making his debut.
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