Tergat predicts men’s marathon podium sweep
Former Kenyan long-distance runner Paul Tergat has predicted that Kenya will dominate the men’s marathon medals podium at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.
On Monday, Athletics Kenya (AK) named a provisional squad for both the men’s and women’s marathon teams, with two-time Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge and world record holder Kelvin Kiptum headlining the men’s team. Boston and New York Marathon champion Hellen Obiri will lead the women’s team alongside former world record holder Brigid Kosgei.
However, the 54-year-old Tergat, the current President of the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK), believes that with the inclusion of marathon legends Kipchoge and Kiptum, who recently shattered the men’s marathon world record in Chicago after finishing the race in two hours and 35 seconds, Kenya has a good squad capable of handing the men’s category a clean sweep in Paris.
“We are looking forward to seeing fireworks…a 1-2-3 [sweep of medals for team Kenya],” said the five-time World Cross Country Champion, as quoted by Olympic.com, adding: “We are very excited; already we have Eliud (Kipchoge) and the young kid who is coming up now (Kelvin Kiptum). Paris will be one of our best Olympic Games ever.”
During the Chicago race, Kiptum slashed 34 seconds off compatriot Kipchoge’s previous world record from Berlin last year to become the first man to run the marathon under two hours and one minute.
Tergat further explained why he feels the two-hour barrier in marathons will be shattered soon by saying: “I was the first man, almost 20 years ago, to run under 2:05, to break the 2:05 barrier. (Then) I said one thing, that it is possible for these records to come down, and it is still going to come down.
“There’s so much technology now, unlike during our time, in terms of shoes and all that [which] is a good thing. It is also exciting when we see the sport is dynamic, it’s changing every day, and it’s not stagnant where people easily lose hope. I want to see many people running under two hours soon.”