Japhet Korir Turns to 5000 Meter Sprint in Melbourne

Japhet Korir crossed the line in Bydogoszcz
Japhet Korir crossed the line in Bydogoszcz

Immediately after Japhet Korir crossed the line in Bydogoszcz’s Myslecinek Park two weeks ago to become the youngest IAAF World Cross Country Championships senior men’s Champion, he revealed his main aim for 2013. The 19- year- old Kenyan revealed “Yes 5000m is the distance I will concentrate on during the summer”. “I have had success as a junior at big Cross Country Championships but I have not been to a big Championship on the track; that is my next ambition”, reiterated Korir.
Korir will get his first shot at his ‘next ambition’ at the Melbourne World Challenge, the first of this year‘s IAAF World Challenge meetings, on Saturday night. He will face a difficult opposition in US sprinter Wallace Spearmon, who is ten years older than Korir and a three- times IAAF World Championships medalist in the 200m and the seventh- fastest all- time over the distance with 19.65.
Melbourne prides its self on its middle and long distance reputation. Korir and his compatriot James Magut adds to a long tradition of Kenyan stars competing at the meeting.
Korir will face two Australians he beat in Bydgoszcz, Liam Adams and Mitch Brow, but his most intriguing domestic rival is Ryan Gregson. The Australian 1500 meter record holder won Auckland’s Queen Street road Mile on Easter Monday. His relatively 5000m best, 13:37.12 set earlier this year in Hobart, may be due for a significant revision. While Korir’s best record remains 13:11.44, set indoor last year.