by Sportswriters John Kwoba and Kimathi Kamau
NAIROBI, July 5 (Xinhua) -- World marathon record holder Patrick Makau hinted Thursday that Kenya will rule the roost at the Olympic Games in the 42km distance.
Makau, who was controversially omitted from the all-star Kenya team for the games, said those picked for London have the ability to take on anyone and beat them. He said it is very possible the Kenya team will sweep the medal podium.
"Kenya has selected very good athletes for the marathon race in London. The athletes are experienced and I am sure they will bring glory to the country," Makau told journalists on Thursday in Nairobi.
Kenya picked on London marathon champion Wilson Kipsang, who is the world second fastest marathon runner. There is also two-time world marathon champion Abel Kirui and Chicago marathon champion Moses Mosop.
Kenya won the gold in Beijing for the first time in the 42km race with Samuel Wanjiru cruising to victory in the magnificent Bird's Nest Stadium in 2:06:32, an Olympic record.
"These three athletes are the best we have and we must support them. I wanted to go to the Olympics, but it was never to be. Now we should be focusing on helping them succeed Wanjiru," said Makau.
The Berlin marathon champion was speaking in Nairobi where he confirmed he will be running in the Ndakaini half marathon, which will be run on the outskirts of Nairobi on September 15.
"I will be running in a small race here in Nairobi to gauge my fitness. Time or victory will not be important for me, but to inspire the younger people to take up running and support this charitable event."
"The event also helps me in my build-up for upcoming races because it has a good course. The world record is on my mind at the moment and I want to see if I can improve it. There are many people eying on the record. I have not decided which race to attempt to break the world record," said Makau.
Makau has pencilled in his diary either Chicago or Berlin marathon for the fall season.
Kenya is also set to dominate in the women marathon race at the London Olympics.
The country boost of some of the fastest marathon runners and will be parading London marathon champion Mary Keitany, Edna Kiplagat, the world marathon winner, and Priscah Jeptoo, who was third in London in April. On the reserve bench is Berlin marathon champion Florence Kiplagat.
Catherine Ndereba is the only Kenyan woman who has come close to winning gold in the distance. She wound up second in both Athens and Beijing Olympics.