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

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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