Catch me if you can, Makau tells marathon pursuers
Posted Friday, January 6 2012 at 19:09
Renato Canova is one of the world’s best marathon coaches.
The Italian, who considers Iten his second home, is largely responsible for getting Abel Kirui into the shape that saw him retain his world title in Daegu last summer.
Previously in charge of the Italian national team, the silver-haired Canova also sharpened the man many consider to be the next world marathon record holder, Moses Mosop, along with Berlin Marathon champion Florence Kiplagat.
Not world record compliant
Last year, Mosop clocked the second fastest marathon time of two hours, three minutes and six seconds in finishing second behind Geoffrey Mutai in a historic Boston Marathon.
Unfortunately, the Boston course is not world record-compliant and Mutai’s amazing winning time of 2:03.02 counted for nothing.
Mosop went on to break world record in the 25,000 metres (1:12:25.4) and 30,000m (1:26:47.4) in Eugene.
Now, Canova’s New Year’s Eve comments that Patrick Makau’s official world record of 2:03.38 will fall in the spring have drawn interesting reactions, with Makau reading malice into the Italian’s predictions.
Canova tipped Mosop
“What I am sure is that next year (this year) after the London Marathon, the record will be no more Patrick Makau’s, and the record is under 2:03,” Canova, donning his trademark dark glasses, told Italian blogger Alberto Stretti in a video interview while in Bolzano for the Boclassic road race on December 31 last year.
Canova tipped Mosop, who will run in April’s Rotterdam Marathon, to shatter Makau’s mark.
And if he fails, the Italian says Wilson Kipsang (2:03.42 in Frankfurt last year) or Emmanuel Mutai (2:04:40 in London last year) will break it.
But speaking to Saturday Nation on Thursday night, Makau told his rivals to concentrate on training rather than dream about beating his record.
Makau read malice into comments being made about the longevity, or lack of it, of his record, saying this threatens to drive Kenya’s bid to retain the fallen Samuel Wanjiru’s Olympic marathon record in London this summer.
Makau says many people are not happy with his record. “It makes me wonder if the record is a preserve for some region, tribe or runners,” Makau said. “What shocks me is that some people are speaking ill of me just because I broke the world record.”
Makau, 26, urged some of his colleagues to refrain from behaving like politicians and as though the record was a matter of life and death.
“Let us embrace the spirit of competition and know we are children of the same mother which is Kenya,” said Makau.
He cautioned that Kenya’s rivals would take advantage of the bickering, envy and bad blood between Kenya’s athletes to ruin the country’s chances at the Olympics.