Olympic champion Kiprop eyes London win

World and Olympic 1,500 metres champion Asbel Kiprop is looking forward to making a successful defence of his title at the London Olympics and restoring the image of the metric mile race at the event.

"My goal in London is to win the Olympic title and win it clean", said Kiprop, who finished second to Rashid Ramzi in Beijing four years ago but was only awarded the gold medal after Morocco-born Bahraini was stripped of the title when he tested postive for doping.

"It's was only the other day when I was awarded the gold medal here in Nairobi, and it has been a short time for me to enjoy the status as an Olympic champion," he added.

But the 22-year-old, who clocked a world leading 3:49.22 in winning the Dream Mile in Oslo early this month, will first have to negotiate the qualifying rounds of the Kenyan Olympic trials which gets underway on Thursday.

He is one of 20 qualifiers in the race who have been forced to go through the eliminations on Thursday to pick the final 12 to go into the finals on Saturday at the Nyayo National stadium.

The line-up includes two other runners who have beaten Kiprop in the Diamond League this season. They are world silver medallist Silas Kiplagat and the winner of the 2011 Diamond league series Nixon Chepseba.

Others are Augustine Kiprono Choge, the reigning world indoor 3,000m silver medallist and former world junior champion Caleb Mwangangi Ndiku.

Apart from the 1500m, the men's 800m, 5,000m and the 3,000m steeplechase have also drawn a big list of Olympic qualifiers who will have to fight it out in the semi-finals on Thursday before the finalists are picked for Saturday.

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