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SYM1971 wrote:

I thought the purpose of the Olympics was to settle who's the best.

In 1977 Lasse Viren said, "If you win, you're lasting. And the Games include all the best runners; they are the true world championships. I'm not the only one who thinks this way. All runners want to run against the very best. The question is not why I run this way, but why so many others cannot. Seventeen men had faster times than I did going into the Montreal 5,000 meters. The question is why they could not do it again in the Olympic Games."

Some events have seen a fluctuation in competition since Viren said that but I think the principle remains. There's loads of guys who can run the times that Makhloufi, Farah, Kemboi, and Kiprotich ran. But the only thing that matters is that they didn't do it on the day that counted most. I've heard so much shit about how a healthy Bekele would blow Farah out of the water, that 27:30 is child's play for him. Or that a healthy Kiprop would have destroyed the 1,500 field. Where were they then? When the great race was going on, where were these great runners everyone talks about? This is a big boy's game. You agree that whoever wins the race is the best and you sack up and run the thing.
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