Kiprop misfires in year’s first 1,500m

Kiprop misfires in year’s first 1,500m

World and Olympic champion Asbel Kiprop plans to work on his speed after placing fifth at the Melbourne Track Classic in his first 1,500 meters of the year on March 2.

The 22-year-old Kenyan led for the middle stretch of the race on a gusty evening at Lakeside stadium, but faded coming into the last lap to post a time of three minutes 42.52 seconds, over four seconds shy of local winner Ryan Gregson.

“I don’t know exactly what happened. It was not my day today. This is sports,” said Kiprop, who won 800m in Sydney last week.

“I did 10 seconds slower than what I was expecting. It doesn’t disappoint me at all.

“Since November when we started the buildup, we concentrated only on long runs... So I’ll go home now and go to prepare well to do speed work and to train hard,” added Kiprop, who came second to Bahrain’s Rashid Ramzi at the 2008 Beijing Olympics but was awarded the gold after the Moroccan-born runner failed a dope test.

World champion and local hero Sally Pearson won the 100m in 11.83 seconds, using the race as preparation for her specialty 100 hurdles.

“It’s frustrating when I know I’m in good shape and I can’t show my good shape because of the winds... That’s the way it goes,” said the 25-year-old, who has won 21 of her last 22 races in the hurdles.