On the eve of the Games, Mohamed Katir erases Fermín Cacho's record
The purists, yes, they expected something like this from Mohamed Katir (23).
But the layman hardly knows who we are talking about.
Mohamed Katir is a Moroccan who had come to Spain by boat when he was a child and did not speak Spanish.
One who had started to play soccer but did not touch her and took the coach's fights.
One who had decided to start running, because that was good for him, of course better than football, and he did so well and he has grown so much that this afternoon, in the Diamond League in Monaco, he snatched Spain's record of the 1,500th Fermín Cacho: chasing Tim Cheruiyot, Katir has signed 3m28s76, two tenths below the record that the Soria genius, gold in Barcelona'92, silver in Atlanta'96, had registered in 1997.
On the eve of the Tokyo Games, the news is bright.
The news is brilliant, among other reasons, because only Cheruiyot (3m28s28) has been able to surpass Katir.
Behind came Jakob Ingebrigtsen (3m29s25) and Stewart McSweyn (3m29s51). The latter two are direct rivals of Katir in Tokyo. But Cheruiyot will miss the Olympics: a couple of weeks ago, he had screwed up in the Kenyan Trials , finishing fourth.
Arrived by boat
Katir was four years old when she reached Spain in a dinghy
There are those who still do not understand anything.
For example, those who do not know where he comes from, how this Katir has appeared, a man who lives in Mula (Murcia), who just a year ago was running at 3m36s59 and who suddenly, for no apparent reason, has erased Fermín Cacho of the boards (the record for the Soriano had been a European record until 2013) and also, a few weeks ago, he appropriated the Spanish record of the 5,000 m: 12m50s79.
No other Spaniard has ever dropped below 13m.
The key, say those who have treated him, is in the change of perspective, something that had happened in 2018, in his twenties.
Until 2018, Katir trained just enough: he was a good runner, but his aspirations were lower
"For a long time, my coach did not pay attention to me - Katir has told whoever has come to ask him -. And until I was 17 years old, I had not realized my potential."
Until then, he trained just enough. He was distracted by other matters. He didn't even take himself seriously. He was a good runner, but his aspirations were lower: at the age of 17 he ran the 1,500m in 3m52s79.