News Archive

News Archive

IAAF org: Tergat - a new challenge, a new chance - exclusive interview

Tuesday 1 February 2005 When World Marathon record holder Paul Tergat travelled

to Athens last summer he had only one target:

he wanted to win the Olympic gold, the medal he had missed at two previous

occasions when he came second to Haile Gebrselassie in the 10,000 metres in

Atlanta and Sydney. When he lined up with all the other favourites on August

29, the last day of the 2004 Olympics, at 6 pm., he was physically and mentally

ready for the 42.195 kilometres to come.

Tergat missed his pre-prepared drinks bottle

But it wasn’t to be. After 30 kilometres, Tergat missed his pre-prepared

drinks bottle, so he had to take the water which the organisers supplied. And

this water was very cold. It did not even take two minutes before his stomach

started cramping.

That was the end of his dream. But he didn’t drop out. He entered

Panathinaikon Stadium in tenth position.

Jürg Wirz, author of the book “Paul Tergat – Running to the

Limit” which will be out in February – recently interviewed Tergat

exclusively for the IAAF internet.

How did you overcome the Athens’


“Honestly, I was stunned. I sacrificed so much for my last Olympic

opportunity. In the race it was hard to accept what happened.

I mean, if you are not well prepared, if other competitors are stronger than

you, you have to accept. If you run your heart out and still you cannot make

it, that’s okay.

World Marathon record holder Tergat (real,- BERLIN-MARATHON 2003 in

2:04:55) on a UN mission in Sudan

But it was in fact such a stupid accident that robbed me of my fair chance. I

didn’t want ...