Silas Kiplagat shifts gear to 5000m race after a remarkable stint

World’s fourth fastest runner in 1500m race Silas Kiplagat has announced his full-time switch to the 5000m race.

Kiplagat who has been participating in the 1500m category close to a decade now has regressed in his mile achievements recently, a precedence attributed to his tiring legs and the entry of younger, robust runners in the field.

In his early days , Kiplagat won Kenya’s gold in the 2010 Commonwealth games held in New Delhi, India then bagged Silver a year later in Daegu, South Korea during the IAAF World Championships.

Most consider him unlucky in the mile career as his meteoric rise and peak coincided with Asbel Kiprops’ marauding best. Kiplagat almost always played second fiddle to his compatriot and thereby curtailing his charge for glory.

His personal best time of 3:27.64 is the 4th fastest and less than two seconds shy of the world record.

Kiplagat, from Siboh village in Kenya’s steeplechase hub of Marakwet has apparently succumbed to the searing heat of mile racing and will henceforth delve into 5000m. His new track discipline is no less competitive but the intensity is lower than mile racing.

Having evaded the fast legs of Elijah Manangoi and the likes, Kiplagat could actually grab a place in Kenya’s team where there’s a glaring lack of talent but internationally the race has equally good athletes from Ethiopia, USA and Uganda.

“I’m switching to the longer 5000m race category beginning this season but it is not a new race for me. I’ve occasionally taken part in the race against world class runners and fared well. But now I’m making it my main race. All my training is tailored to it and I’m hoping all will be well,” said the soft spoken Kiplagat.

Perhaps he was inspired by Helen Obiri who stormed to Olympic silver medal within months of stepping up from 1500m and crowned her move world championship gold last year in London, United Kingdom.

“Sometimes switching races can revive a stagnant career and having taken part in 1500m for so long it’s best to try my foot in the longer distance. Who knows what might come out of it. I will however, put in my best efforts to succeed in the race. I have vast experience running at the top and I know the players so I’ll be ready,” he said after launching his 2018 with a shot at cross country racing during the Kenya Prisons Athletics event during the weekend.

With Commonwealth Games due in April this year, Kiplagat has set his sights at making Kenya’s team to Australia for the club games. He has previously been branded a Diamond League merchant for frequent appearance and success in IAAF’s annual track circuit but Kiplagat is aching to leave bigger footprints in international competitions.

“This year everyone is looking for medals in the Commonwealth because there are no other international championships for senior athletes. I first hope to make Kenya’s team then go and struggle out there for a medal. I previously won gold in Commonwealth but that was eight years ago in 1500m. Now we’ll be in a different race with so much having changed. But I’m confident and hopeful,” he said .