NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Former marathon world record holder Patrick Makau
of Kenya has announced his retirement from athletics and will
instead focus his energies on coaching younger athletes.
Makau, 33, has lost
his fight to gain fitness after persistent patella-tendon
injury, forced him off training and competition since 2017. With
doctors warning against him running, Makau has opted to throw in
“With the age
catching up, with persistent patella-tendon injury due to which
I was forced to cancel competition in 2017 for both Boston and
Berlin marathons, I know this is the right time to say it is
enough,” Makau said Thursday in Nairobi.
The two time Berlin
marathon champion is credited for reclaiming the world marathon
record from the grip of Ethiopian Haile Gebreselassie in 2011
when he clocked 2:03:38 eclipsing the Ethiopian’s time of
beaten Paul Tergat’s record of 2:04:54 set in 2004. Wilson
Kipsang improved Makau’s record after two years to 2:03:23, but
that has also been shuttered to 2:02:57 by Kenyan Dennis Kimetto,
which is the current record.
“I have had a
wonderful career as an athlete. My life is defined by athletics,
what I have today is because of the sport I love. Athletics has
literally changed me, allowing me to grow and to make positive
impact on lives of my family and our community,” said Makau, the
2007 World Half Marathon champion.
“For this I am truly
grateful.” However, Makau will not be taking a long walk away
from athletics completely.
To remain busy, he
intends to help guide a new generation of young distance runners
realize their dreams and develop their careers, especially from
the southern part of Kenya where he comes from.
“I want to coach
some athletes who have no guides. I want to continue giving back
to the community,” he said.
His biggest regret
however is his failure to make the cut for Kenya team to the
2012 Olympics in London despite him being the world record
holder at the time.
“I missed the
Olympics after failing to complete at the London Marathon in
2012 because of injury. I went to London knowing I was already
in the team for the Olympics. I therefore didn’t push myself to
finish the marathon. I had a wild card by selectors before they
had a change of heart,” said Makau.
Makau, who started
his road running career with victory at the 2005 Zanzibar Half
Marathon, believes it was the late Danish coach Zane Branson,
who nurtured his talent.
However, he says his
injury crisis was down to failure to embrace physiotherapy,
strength and conditioning early enough during his career.
He signed up for
Adidas Running team and he has been one of their top talents in
the battle for dominance against Nike and Puma.
“It was a privilege
to wear three-stripes and take marathon world record back to
Kenya in one of the best shoes ever made,” said Makau revering
to his Addidas spikes.
Makau has run in
over 20 marathons, he has finished at least 11 ever since he
debut in Rotterdam in 2008.
Ugandan Kiprotich eyes Toronto
course record against Kenyan challenge
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Ugandan Stephen Kiprotich, who trains near
Eldoret, will become the first Olympic champion to compete at
the Toronto Waterfront Marathon on Oct. 21.
athlete, who trains in Kattegat together with current Olympic
marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge under Dutch based management
company Global Sport Communications, will accompany two-time
Toronto champion Philemon Rono from their training base as they
battle for the honors in Canada next month where the winner will
take 24,000 U.S. dollars in prize money.
The trio is coached
by 1992 Olympic steeplechase silver medalist Patrick Sang.
“I am really happy
and training hard and looking forward to competing in this big
race in Toronto,” says Kiprotich, who also won the marathon
title at the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Moscow, joining
Ethiopia’s Gezehegne Abera as the only men to ever win both
“I asked Rono what
is the course like,” he says of the man who set a Canadian
all-comers’ record of 2:06:52 in Toronto a year ago.
“He said the course
is good and nice. If we go fast and run the first half in 63
minutes, we can push at the end to 2:05. It is possible.”
championship success is outstanding and all the more remarkable
since he chose to make Kaptagat his training base.
“I train here
because my friends are here and I have good company. My home is
about six hours drive by car. I go home on the weekends and
sometimes when my family needs me. But sometimes when I am
preparing for a big race, I stay in the camp for one month
without going home.”
tremendous success and uncanny ability to peak at the right
time, Kiprotich knows his personal best of 2:06:33 deserves to
be substantially reduced.
“I have the two
medals but also I want to run a faster time than 2:05,” he says.
“Most of the people they look at my times and they ask me how
did you win these two medals in poor times? So it is my hope to
run a good time before I retire.”
Kiprotich and Rono
can expect some stiff competition from New Zealand’s Jake
Robertson who debuted with a national record of 2:08:26 earlier
All three are
looking for a time faster than the course record if the weather