Giant on the move
Kenya’s hope for an Olympic marathon medal were dealt a blow when Robert Cheruiyot pulled out due to injury and three-times London marathon winner Martin Lel’s training was affected by flu. But Sammy Wanjiru saved the day and brought the marathon gold medal, proof that distance running is Africa’s forte.
Ethiopia, one of the poorest countries in the world, collected four gold, one silver and 2 bronze medals, showing that poverty does not have to stand in the way of great sportsmanship. Ethiopia’s Tirunesh Dibaba and Kenenisa Bekele both cruised to victory for the 10,000 and 5,000 metres, the first time the double has been achieved since the 1980 Games.
Kenya’s assistant athletics coach put it down to dealing with hardships from a young age and altitude, which helps the athletes deal with hot conditions.
I respect Paula Radcliffe for finishing the Olympic marathon, especially since she was clearly in agonising pain, but I don’t understand her decision to race in the first place.
The Olympics seem to be an excuse for thinking you can do anything to your body without paying a price. But there is a price and the problem is that athletes pay it once the cameras stop rolling.
There was good news for Britain on Monday as Paula Radcliffe talked up her chances of being fit enough to run the marathon at the Beijing Games.
“I’m racing unless my leg breaks down,” Radcliffe, 34, told reporters four days before the start of the Olympics and 13 days before the women’s race on August 17.