Kenya’s new world 1,500m champion Elijah Manangoi can break the 19-year-old world record for the event, Asbel Kiprop said after losing his title to his younger compatriot on Sunday.
“I see Elijah as a fresh talent, a new guy, who will take the event to the next level,” Kiprop told reporters after failing in his attempt to win a fourth consecutive 1,500 gold medal at the World Championships. “He is new, young, strong and smart; he is the guy to run under 3:26.”
Moroccan Hicham El Guerrouj set the world record of 3:26.00 in Rome on July 14 1998.
Kiprop, 28, finished ninth on Sunday, more than three seconds behind Manangoi’s time of three minutes 33.61 seconds, and said he would now move up to the 5,000 metres.
“I used a wrong tactic and used a lot of energy in closing the gap. When the race settled, the pace had become too hot for me. “I will move to the 5,000m to fill the void being left by Mo Farah and to try and bring the title back home,” he said.
The last Kenyan to win the world 5,000 title was Benjamin Limo in 2005 in Helsinki.
Manangoi, who finished ahead of fellow Kenyan Timothy Cheruiyot, thanked Kiprop for mentoring him but was coy about his world-record ambitions.
“I thank everybody who made this possible,” Manangoi, 24, said. “It is like a dream. I particularly thank Asbel for mentoring me. As for the world record, let’s not talk about it.”