A few points i agree with you. First i would prefer to win a gold medal in my 1st Olympic games and not just after 12 years of my first participation. As i agree with you that we don´t know the future.
But in many points you are wrong or have the wrong data.
Recently in this same thread i did call the attention what´s the running class of the runner that we are talking about. I´ve said that i would put El Guerrouj or Gebre in the 1st world category, but Lopes in the second, and Marius in the 4th. I still keep my original idea.
You see each running career have a start and development and and an end, and TARGETS - that may be equal or different from one runner to another runner.
We portuguese we change any PB or a good performance for a win or a good race result.
You are wrong about the portuguese runners that took part of my inquiry. And no foreign did participate in this inquire. You based your conclusions by just the performances and PB´s, but among the portuguese are runners that did perform in a level that Marius didn´t yet.
Carlos Lopes didn´t pass 2 olympics or 11 years to get a silver medal in the olympics. He did first 1972 olympics and no more than 5000m and 10000m heats, like Marius did twice, but in his second olympics he did 2nd in 10000m final. In that same 1976 year he did win World Cross Country. Next Olympics ther´s the boycott, so Lopes didn´t participate. But meanwhile he did a second in 1977 WCC - win European team CCC and in 1982 he did 4th in 10000m in the European champs, and in 1983 he once again a 2nd in the WCC did win once again in 1984. In 1982 he did 10000m european record.
In the next 1984 olympics he did win te gold medal in the marathon and did 27:17 in 10000m and also did win WCC champ. In 1985 he did win once again the WCC and did marathon WR 2:07:12 and did win a second time the team ECC medal. During tjhis period he did win 2 S. Silvester races and douzens and douzens of top crosses, top class road runs.
Now, it´s up to you to say to me what did Marius in the last 2 olympics or WChamps or EChamps or any other run, or any other big win indoor or outdoor, cross, road or track, that i may relate with Lopes palmares ?
You see, among portuguese runners that did the inquire are runners like those :
Olimpic medals: Lopes, Rui Silva, Antonio Leitao
World medals: Rui Silva (1500m and 3000m indoors), Domingos Castro (5000m), Joao Campos (3000m indoors)
European medals: Antonio Pinto (10000m); Rui Silva, Joao Campos (3000m indoors), Mario Silva (1500m)
WCC medals: Lopes, Paulo Guerra (3rd in WCC)
ECC medals: Paulo Guerra (4times ECCchamp and 2 times second); Eduardo Henriques; Domingos Castro
World records: Lopes (marathon); Mamede (10000m); Dionisio Castro (20000 track)
European records: Lopes (10000); Mamede (10000m 3 times); Antonio Pinto (10000m and marathon).
Just to mention our e 5000m track record by Antonio Pinto that´s 13:03, don´t forget that.