Former world marathon record holder Patrick Makau has backed Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge to bounce back from his shock defeat at the London Marathon last Sunday.
The retired marathoner recounted how, in April 2011, he failed to clinch the London Marathon title despite being among the favourites-finishing third-but after five months went on to set a world record at the Berlin Marathon, in a time of 2:03.38.
“Sometimes our (athletes) bodies react differently to different races and Kipchoge is not immune to that. I remember in 2011 I failed to win the London Marathon despite having won Berlin and Rotterdam marathons the previous year but I later that year shuttered the world record,” said Makau.
Makau, 40, who recently landed coaching role with the Kenyan team departing for World Half Marathon in Poland later this month, says he is not amused with Kipchoge’s eighth position finish adding that the performance should not, in any way, fuel worries the world record holder is about to start slowing down.
“Notwithstanding previous results, fans should always understand that athletes are human beings and are bound to defeat at any given time. It was unfortunate for Kipchoge but we should not, at any given time, think he is done. Writing off Kipchoge is a kin to despising a king.”
He added: “He is the greatest marathoner ever and I’m sure he will come back strong because we all know how strong his mentality is.”
Kipchoge surrendered the London title to 2018 silver medalist Shura Kitana of Ethiopia as he suffered his first defeat in 12 competitive marathon races.
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