Multiple 3000m steeplechase champion Ezekiel Kemboi is set t make his marathon debut in April.
After dominating the water-and-barrier race for over a decade, Kemboi, 37, will make his entry in the road race at the Hamburg marathon in Germany in April 2019.
Kemboi had called time out of track in 2018 but he admits that he was motivated to scale up the distance by the reigning world record holder Eliud Kipchoge.
“Did my speed work today in readiness for Hamburg Marathon in Germany April. It will be my debut after a long season in the steeplechase,” Kemboi said in a Facebook post.
He added: “I quit the track to give a chance to younger athletes to take over. I am proud of what I achieved over the years. I was motivated by Kipchoge with whom we were together in 2003 during the World Championships. I am now following him in the marathon where I want to perform well just like in the track.”
Kemboi tested his prowess on the road race in August 2010 in Italy where he beat Peter Kimelito to the tape to win the Corribianco race in Bianco, taking the honors at the 8.5km Amatrice-Configno.
Kemboi’s reign in steeplechase is undisputed.
The Kapsowar Boys Secondary School alumnus, who took up athletics after high school, is the only athlete to have won four successive world championships.
Kemboi’s time of 7:55.76 set at Monaco in 2011 places him as the sixth fastest of all time. This time is also the fastest non-winning time in history.
He is one of only four men to have won both Olympic and World gold , along with Reuben Kosgei, Brimin Kipruto and Conseslus Kipruto, though he is the only multiple gold medalist in both.