Kampala, Aug 17 (IANS) Uganda’s Stephen Kiprotich is ready to defend his Olympic marathon gold medal when the event takes place on August 21 in Rio de Janeiro.

The 2012 Olympics star on Wednesday told Xinhua before departure for Brazil that he is well prepared for the challenge.

“I know the Ethiopians and Kenyans have been working hard and running good times, but I am very prepared for this,” Kiprotich said.

He said he has been running in many top international events and therefore he is ready to put up a good show in Rio.

“I have trained well and having two other team members in the race will be an added advantage in Rio on August 21,” he said.

Kiprotich is to return to the middle step of the podium after losing his world title in Beijing last year to Eritrean teenager Ghirmay Ghebreslassie (2:12:28) where he finished sixth in 2:14:43 hours.

He went to the World Championships on the back of running a Uganda record of 2:06:33 hours in finishing second at the Tokyo Marathon.

This season, the Ugandan star is heading to the Olympics having run 2:07:46 hours for fourth at the same race on February 28.

Jackson Kiprop and Solomon Munyo Mutai are also part of Uganda’s marathon team.

    The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service.

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