Day: January 6, 2014

ONCE A COMPETITOR…OLYMPIC MARATHON CHAMP ANXIOUS TO ANSWER CRITICS

Stephen Kiprotich, 2012 Olympic Champion
Stephen Kiprotich, 2012 Olympic Champion

Reigning World and Olympic Marathon champion Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda begins 2014 with his knickers in a knot —  which is not a bad thing by this reading.  As he embarks on the long training slog toward the highly anticipated Virgin London Marathon this April 13th, the soon to be 25 year-old (Feb. 27, 1989) has been stung by unnamed critics who suggest he has been more fortunate than good in winning his two gold medals.  Kiprotich took issue with the charge, snapping back in a story published by Uganda’s Daily Mirror that was then picked up as Quote of the Day by our friends at Letsrun.com.

“I know I haven’t run a very fast marathon in my career so far, but what people forget is that I am still learning. You can’t judge someone who hasn’t run more than 10 marathons. I have competed against very experienced marathoners and defeated them.”

There is no denying Kiprotich’s excellence as a championship runner. Only Ethiopia’s Gezahenge Abera has similarly worn Olympic and World Championship Marathon gold simultaneously (2000 Sydney & 2001 Edmonton).  But in his seven career marathons to date Kiprotich has only registered a modest PR (by today’s standards) of 2:07:20 from his debut at the 2011 Enschede Marathon in the Netherlands. As a side note, Enschede was also the only other marathon besides the World Champs and Olympics that he’s won (see full career record below).

“On a good day, I am sure I can run 2:05,” Kiprotich told the Daily Mirror, adding, “I can even attempt the world record (2:03:23). It’s very possible. It all depends on the course and how the body reacts.”

Date

Competition

Country

 

 

 

Result

 

 

Apr. 17, 2011 Enschede Marathon NED 1st 2:07:20
Feb. 26,  2012 Tokyo Marathon JPN 3rd 2:07:50
Aug. 12, 2012 London Olympic Games GBR 1st 2:08:01
Apr. 21, 2013 London Marathon GBR 6th 2:08:05
Aug. 17, 2013 Moskva IAAF World Championships RUS 1st 2:09:51
Sep. 04, .2011 Daegu IAAF World Championships KOR 9th 2:12:57
Nov.03, 2013 New York City Marathon USA 12th 2:13:05

One always likes to see an athlete rise to the bait, even if it’s hard to figure who set the hook.  But a ghost challenge is as good as a flesh and blood one, I say, if it gets the blood up.  At the same time, immediately upon reading the Kiprotich quote I was struck by the number 10.  “You can’t judge someone who hasn’t run ten marathons?”

Yes you can.  I do it all the time. (more…)

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