Confident Komon targets world record

Kenyan athlete Leonard Komon
Kenyan athlete Leonard Komon
Emma Montiel was the first woman home in the 243rd Southsea parkrun. Picture: Duncan Shepherd

IN PICTURES: Southsea parkrun 243

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Leonard Komon could well be an Olympic champion and a household name this time next year.

London is calling, not only for the gifted Kenyan but for a host of athletes who have their eyes on medals at the 2012 Olympics.

And the Bupa Great South Run is an ideal stepping stone for a man who has been tipped for greatness next year and beyond.

While some simply target victory in a high-profile race with an impressive field, Komon is genuinely looking to mount a world-record attempt around the streets of Portsmouth tomorrow.

Countryman Joseph Ebuya’s impressive run last year lowered the course record to 45 minutes and 16 seconds.

And unless the weather has other ideas, the 45-minute barrier looks almost certain to be breached this year by the red-hot favourite. Some happily talk the talk but the quietly-spoken 23-year-old can also walk the walk after coming within a whisker of Haile Gebrselassie’s world record over the 10-mile distance two months ago.

And he believes a new benchmark could be in place after tomorrow’s showdown, having missed out by just four seconds recently.

Speaking at yesterday’s press launch, Komon said: ‘When I signed up to race here, the world record was not on my mind.

‘But a few days ago, my manager told me he was talking to the organisers and they told him it is a very fast course in Portsmouth.

‘The organisers believe it is possible, I am prepared and I know I can run fast again. I am looking forward to running here.’

While Komon cut his teeth in cross country running, he has more than shown his ability as a road racer and already holds world records over 10,000m and 15,000m.

It will not be a walk in the park for him with fellow Kenyan Abel Kirui and Moroccan Abderrahime Bouramdane eager to push him all the way.

But Komon believes the presence of those rivals can help him go even faster.

He said: ‘It will help if everyone else comes with me to keep the pace going very quickly.

‘I think it would also be to their advantage so that they can run fast times themselves.

‘But of course, hopefully, I will be able to beat them.’