Makau’s Withdrawal Comes Less Than A Week After He Said His Training Was Going Well and He Was Hoping For A Sub-2:03
September 13, 2013
Just as momentum was starting to build for a possible two-man world record attack by the fastest two marathoners in history at the 40th BMW Berlin Marathon on September 29th, world record holder Patrick Makau has withdrawn with a knee injury.
Makau’s management team, International Athletics Consultancy, sent out a press release which read in part:
Mr. Makau’s decision (to withdraw) is based on his doctor’s advice. After several weeks of observation, an orthopedic doctor at Kenyatta National Hospital, Dr. Bwana Ombachi, concluded that there is an inflammation around the knee and that he is of belief that the injury will only worsen unless a full recovery and follow-up treatment are embraced.
As for Makau himself, he obviously was disappointed. “I wanted to complete and I remained highly focused and positive, but after discussing my options with my management team, I’ve realized that I can’t race unless I am healthy and prepared to perform at my very best. I trust the doctor and I need to focus on recovering from this problem,” said Makau in the press release.
Makau’s agent, Zane Branson, issued a statement which very much left running fans wondering what might have happened on September 29th:
“Over the past several months the quality of Patrick’s training was at high levels and my impressions while in Kenya during month of July left me believing that something really special would likely happen in Berlin on 29 September, especially as Patrick’s relaxed and positive attitude with regards to his training had me truly optimistic.
I do believe that Patrick’s objective at this stage of his career is not just to protect his world record, but to attack it. Sadly, this now might have to wait until next year and all of us at International Athletics Consultancy are to continue to support and assist Patrick in his efforts to continue to test human limits on marathon course.”
The 40th Berlin marathon still could be fast as it includes the following leading entrants:
Wilson Kipsang – KEN – 2:03:42 – 2nd fastest marathoner on a records-eligible course in history, 2012 London champ, 2012 Olympic bronze medallist.
Eliud Kipchoge – KEN – 12:46.53 5000 pb, 26:49.02 10,000 pb, 59:25 13.1 pb. 2003 World 5000 Champion, 2:05:30 in marathon debut in April.
Geoffrey Kipsang – KEN – 2011 world junior xc champ. 13:12.23, 27:06.35, 58:54 and 2:06:30 pbs. Race organizers say he is 21 years old, but the IAAF, tilastapaja and all-athletics all say he is 20 years old. Since the race organizers also say his name is Geoffrey Kiptanui and not Kipsang, we’ll assume they are wrong and have made an embarrassing mistake.
Marilson Dos Santos – BRA – 2:06:38 pb is two-time ING New York City Marathon champ (in 2006 and 2008).
LetsRun.com’s Quick Take #1: Makau’s withdrawal certainly is disappointing but injuries are a part of the sport. However, this whole episode just reminds us to basically ignore half of what you read coming out of a runner’s mouth before a race as there is know way of knowing if it’s true.
Less than a week ago, an article by the AFP came out where Makau was quoted as saying, “I have not been in the best of forms in recent marathon races but my training has been going well for the last three months,” said Makau. “Hopefully with the assistance of the pacesetters, we should be able to run under 2:03.”
While we can sort of understand runners not wanting to reveal their true fitness status to their rivals, it’s not right for runner’s to give statements that hype their fitness without being truthful.
Would it have been wrong to say at the time the AFP article came out, “My training has been going great, but I’m a little worried about a knee issue that has flared up recently?”
No it would not. The media shouldn’t be used to simply pump up excitement and dupe the fans. Fans deserve better and the press need to be objective. When an NFL game starts, fans know who is injured and who isn’t.
Quick Take #2: Speaking of not duping the fans. We have no idea why the race’s press release from earlier this month referred to Geoffrey Kipsang as Geoffrey Kiptanui and said Kipsang was 21 and not 20. How is the sport every going to be popular if the names and ages of former junior world champion and potential star are changing?
We at LetsRun.com had never heard of Geoffery Kiptanui but had heard of Geoffrey Kipsang. If someone knows how this happened, please email us.