WHAT THEY SAID ...
“I remember Eliud arriving on to the stage at the World Champs in Paris 2003 as the world junior cross-country champion and winning an outstanding 5000m race by beating two of the all-time greats, Hicham El Guerrouj and Kenenisa Bekele, into second and third place. Many years after a top-class career of medals, victories and worldclass times, I had the privilege of commentating on his impressive and much deserved Olympic marathon victory in Rio 2016. Now in Berlin the world has witnessed the fastest marathon in history by the greatest marathon runner we have ever seen. A truly honest and modest man has become a believable legend. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer bloke.”
“This was as amazing as Paula’s 2:15:25 London run. Eliud is without doubt the greatest men’s marathon runner ever. He has absolute class and has helped the event move ever closer to the two-hour record which I will see in my lifetime. I am in no rush for it but I can’t wait! His run is four minutes faster than Khalid Khannouchi’s record in 2002. Stunning.”
“What Kipchoge achieved in Berlin is right up there alongside Paula’s world record in London in 2003. Her 2:15:25 hasn’t been approached and I don’t think this Kipchoge mark will be either. It’s not often that everything falls into place, but 99% of his plan did in Berlin. Yes, two of his three pacemakers dropped out earlier than expected, but that was why he had three; he only needed one to do the job well and that’s what Josphat Boit did. I thought he’d gone out too hard and that he’d pay the price, but astonishingly, he got quicker and quicker. What I love about Kipchoge’s performance, aside from it probably being an outlier in the same way that Paula’s world record has become, is that he’s a genuinely rounded performer. He’s got pedigree at cross country, at track distances from 1500m upwards and so he’s served his apprenticeship and got to where he has by hard graft over many years. For me, that makes him a worthier world record-holder than others who have come from virtually nowhere in double-quick time, to huge prominence on the roads.”
“It was mesmerising to watch. He was so strong and focused. After Monza I knew he was capable of running something like this but he went out and delivered big time on it here.”
“We were hoping to break it by
10-20 seconds so to do it by more than a minute is amazing.
Eliud has been around for 20 years so he has been building and building – and now he is in better shape even than in Monza so we knew he could do something incredible.”
On comparisons with former world record-holder Haile Gebrselassie, he added: “That was many years ago and in a different era. There was less things that we could do for the athletes. We have a better budget, physios, everything is better than 5-10 years ago. Normally we came to a race with an athlete, physio and manager but now we are here with 12 people.”