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IAAF.org: Tergat on Target for Athens – Exclusive interview

Tergat has it all except the Olympics gold

06.08.2004

Nairobi, Kenya - For Paul Kibii Tergat, the worlds fastest marathon runner, Athens will definitively form the climax or anti-climax of his illustrious international athletics career which has spanned more than a decade, as 2004 will be his last Olympics.

"I have every type of trophy in my cabinet, except an Olympic gold medal. This should indicate to you how important I am taking the Games in Athens," said Tergat, 34, a sergeant in the Kenya Air Force.

“I want to solidify my two silver medals into something more tangible for the nation, myself and my fans too.”

Tergat won the 10,000m Olympic silver medal in Atlanta (1996) and Sydney four years later. He also took a World Championships bronze (1995) and two silvers (1997/1999) for the same distance. He won individual World cross country titles for five successive years (1995-1999). He dominated the half-marathon scene like nobody else, both city races like Stramilano and World Championships (1999 & 2000). Tergat also held the World 10,000m track record (1997), and currently holds the World records for the Half and full marathon.

When Tergat missed the London City Marathon last April, due to calf muscle injury, athletics pundits were quick to speculate that he feigned the injury to concentrate on the Olympics. Like the gentleman that he is, he did not attempt to allay those speculations. He just went for medical treatment in Brescia, Italy, under the watchful eyes of his coach Dr Gabriele Rosa and returned home to concentrate on his Olympics training.

On course for Athens success


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