News29 Sep 2003

With Marathon Best to his credit Tergat eyes Greek glory


Tergat wins in Berlin breaks 2:05 barrier (© Lisa Coniglio @Photo Run)

The day after he broke the world marathon best Paul Tergat revealed that his next target will be the Olympic Games in Athens next year. “I have not won a gold medal at the Olympics. So this is a big challenge for me”, the 34-year-old Kenyan said during a press conference in Berlin on Monday.

Although he added: “Of course I first have to get into the Kenyan team,” after Sunday Kenyan selectors should find no way of leaving Tergat behind. He smashed the world record in the Real Berlin Marathon becoming the first runner to finish under 2:05. Tergat ran 2:04:55 just a second ahead of Sammy Korir.

“Athens would be my last race for the Kenyan team”, Tergat stated. “But the Olympics would not be the end of my career. I think I have a couple of more years to run the marathon.

"I still really like running. And I will continue as long as I feel fine during running. Running is my passion, but on the other hand it is of course not the whole life.”

Paul Tergat also admired Andres Espinosa (Mexico) who ran a masters world record in Berlin (2:08:46) at the age of 40. “He was really surprising – I would like to be able to run like him when I will be 40 one day”, Paul Tergat said.

He will now have a three week break and then start training slowly. Regarding his career with so many unlucky second places Tergat said: “This world record with a sub 2:05 is a consolation for me. I hope that this record stands for a while.” He rates his win as an extraordinary success in his career. “This is a record in the marathon. It is exceptional, you can not really compare it with a 10 k or a half marathon.”

Asked what had changed when he changed from the 10,000 m to the marathon after the Olympics in 2000, he replied: “The marathon has changed my running. I am more tolerant and more patient now. I have learnt that nothing is impossible if you believe in yourself, stay focussed and train hard.”

“I have lived and trained for that record for a long time”, Tergat said. He said he was lucky to have finally everything combined – ideal weather, a good course and organisation plus very strong pacemakers. “This Berlin course is really fast. I believe that for Paula Radcliffe it would be possible to run a time of 2:13 here.”

A record number of about 30,600 runners finished the race. It is the first time that more than 30,000 runners have finished the Berlin Marathon.

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