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WHY RADCLIFFE FAILED
Berlin, Sunday, Sept 26, 12.30gmt
Felix Limo won the real,-Berlin Marathon on Sunday morning, and then told
us why Paula Radcliffe and Paul Tergat failed in the Olympic Marathon last
"In Athens, it was proven that that the people who can run an average time
rather than world records, are the people who win championships," says
"Running big city marathons and championships are two different things. In
the city marathons, you have up to five pacemakers taking you at a level
pace to whatever time you want. In championships, you run a random tempo,
sometimes fast, sometimes slow. It’s not easy to cope.
"The best people to take to championships are those who have not won many
marathons, people who can run 2hr 8min, because the tempo that wins
championship marathons is the same.
"If you take someone like Tergat, who has run 2.04 (2.04.55 in Berlin
2003), when he wanted to'go', he was under pressure, and he failed."
Limo thought he had a chance of representing Kenya in Athens, but was
overlooked, despite his two previous sub-2.07 clockings. He was happy with
his win on Sunday, in 2.06.33, but feels he can run close to two minutes
"I always have a problem with marathons. In Rotterdam (in April), I ran
2.06.14 into a headwind. Here, the weather was also not favouring us. It
was cold at the start, when it was raining, and I had a bit of back pain. I
hurt my back working in my compound, too much bending over. I"m not
disappointed, 2.06 is not slow, but on a good day, I think I can do
His colleague, Joseph Riri, who finished second, in a personal best 2.06.49
also had a theory about why Japanese women are so good. Yoko Shibui had
just won the Berlin women’s race in 2.19.41, to become the fourth fastest
woman in history. Riri, who trains in Nagoya, central Japan says, "It's
because they train harder, even than Kenyan men. In Japan, I see women
training in big groups, sometimes as far as 40-45 kilometres a day for
weeks. The most I ever do is 38 kilometres."