World's Fastest Marathoner Snubbed

Staff Writer
Kenya’s Patrick Makau won’t race in the London Olympics

You know you are talent-rich when you don’t bother to include the current world record-holder on your Olympic marathon squad. Last week, Athletics Kenya announced its three-man London 2012 marathon team, and Patrick Makau didn’t make the list. The current world record holder set a time of 2:03:38 last September at the Berlin Marathon, a mark that has yet to be surpassed.

It seems crazy not to send the man with the best time ever, but the selection committee’s decision seems to have been swayed by Makau’s spring performances. In last month’s London Marathon, Makau was certain he was already guaranteed an Olympic spot, so he pulled out of the race at 16 km. “It is not practical, not even advisable, to run hard in the London marathon or Boston or even Rotterdam in April and expect to recover in time for the Olympics three months later,” he told Reuters by way of an explanation.

Makau said that Athletics Kenya promised him a place on the Olympic team last year, shortly after his record-breaking run, and that he'd reduced his race appearances since then in preparation for the London Games.

Now, instead of Makau, Kenya will send two-time world champion Abel Kirui, London marathon winner Wilson Kipsang and Moses Mosop, who finished third among Kenyans at the Rotterdam marathon.

Via Reuters.