WHAT THEY SAID ...

Athletics Weekly - - Action -

Bren­dan Foster

“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.”

David Bed­ford

“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.”

Tim Hutch­ings

“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.”

Paula Rad­cliffe

“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.”

Jos Her­mans

“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.”

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