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London 2007 Summary

London 2007 made for a remarkable event with a stellar field assembled as well as all the intrigue and tact of a who done it thriller. Who done it, simply replaced by who would win. When you have names of the calibre of Kenya’s Paul Tergat and Ethiopia’s Haile Gebreselaissie you can be forgiven for focusing your attention on them and billing them as favourites.

But when there is a distance of 26 miles or 42 kilometers to cover; whatever you prefer to call, every marathon runner knows that a lot can happen. In this event we have witnessed unbelievable blow outs, tacticle errors of judgement at waterpoints and even the possibility of collision with the rearguard of the elite women who start 45 minutes before the elite men.

Throw in the debutants of a current sub 13min 5000m runner, Morocco’s Abderrahim Goumri and a very current sub 60min halfmarathon runner, America’s Ryan Hall and you had the possibility of surprise.

The Women’s field had a field of definite favourites with China’s Chunxiu Zhou as the main standout with the Netherland’s Lorna Kiplagat almost on a level favourite par after her stunning victory at the World Cross Country Champs held in Mombassa, Kenya in March.

We cannot emphasise the difference between a great race at the shorter distances and the conversion to success at the full marathon. Time and again we get sucked in into believing it can so easliy be converted into predicting marathon results.

It was not to be for Kiplagat and one wonders whether a different approach in the conditions may have benefitted her more. Once the pacesetters had dropped out Kiplagat was leading until the surge of the eventual winner Zhou.

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