Ther´s no way i get you out of your fix idea. I don´t deny that performances that means something, i don´t want to deny, but that´s not enough.
Actually I receive a few e-mails daily from people all around the world that wants to train with me, but mainly that are american runners. The fact is that from top runners (13:47)to average runners (14:40) to mediocre runners (16;50) when I ask them what are their goals, they all answer: I want to go to the Olympics, I want to qualify to the olimpics –even runners with more than 6:00 in the mile they want to make the Olympics. But no one never said to me that he wants to do the world record ! Think about this, why they say i want the olimpics and they never say i want the world record.
You said that both - performances and titles - have interest in a runner appreciation. Besides when a runner ecides a season goal target and if the goal that´s a big competition but he fails completely that´s a great defeat – that what normally happens with Marius. Performances that are to break out every season or so, but titles you will never get out a medal from a runner, that´s definitive, if he is clean (LOL). Think that everyday in the year round all world´s population have the chance to do a good running performance, eventually a world record, but an Olympic medal (as an example) there are just 3 places for 3 medals for each event every 4 years. And that´s not the day before and the next day, that´s in that precise day. Besides there are titles which the performance isn´t considered as cross titles. In your logic, Dave Morcroft should be an european genius, because he did 13:00 some decades ago that´s WR and ER for so long, but he wasn´t. he was just a good runner. During the period that he did run, there were lots and lots of European runners better than him – just in UK, as Brendan Foster or Steve Cram or Sebastian Coe, or Steve Ovett. Also, during that same 5 years period that you consider there were also European runners that did Olympic medals, world medals and also did very interesting performances – world top class chronos. Not just Baldini ! take a look in the Champs results – indoor and outdoor , because I guess that you ignore a lot who did that in Europe. About Craig Mottram, i want to say a few things. First he is not an European thus is out of our original discussion – that Marius is the best European runner. Second, if you ask me he is a good runner - much, much better than Marius in my opinion, because he did better performances than Marius, in 5000m as well as in 10000m, but he is also good cross runner, but mainly because he did well in a few big champs as WCC champs, and last Olympics, as well some historical wins, as he did against Gebre. If if you ask me about if he is one of the all time best – I don´t think so. He will need do more and more just to be considered the best Ocean runner – in a podium that are Murray Halberg, Herb Elliott, Peter Snell, or John Walker, Bob Castella. Finnaly about portuguese runners decline? In previous posts I tried to send you some clues why euorpean runners they aren´t as better as they used to be. This is not an exclusive from the portuguese, and if you want to know my opinion we are still better than most of european countries – some of them with more population, more money than us. I just let you know a recent fact that how the Portuguese runners they approach running actually. We did our national cross. Then the Portuguese federation qualified the Portuguese top runners to be present. Most of them refuses to compete in WCC champs. They have no more interest, they say they have no changes there, so that´s better to run a commercial road run instead of a WCCC participations. One runner said off the record that if the federation qualifies him to be there he simply will jog along the course and try to use the travel as a holyday trip.