Mistä tuulee maralla?
Keniasta. Aika tiukka ilmiö meneillään. Toisaalta ei nyt ihan ensimmäinen kerta huippu-urheilussa, kun jonkun maan urheilijat paukuttavat omalla tasollaan. Mutta nykyajan huippu-urheilussa varsin erikoista. The (r)evolution of the marathon: An unprecedented era The marathon is in the midst of a quite extra-ordinary and unprecedented era. This was encapsulated on the weekend by an incredible performance from Wilson Kipsang, who gave Patrick Makau's six-week old world record a real fright by running 2:03:42 in the Frankfurt Marathon. Kipsang, who had won in Frankfurt the year before (2:04:57) had talked of his desire to break the world record, but few took him too seriously. Until he reached 25km nine seconds ahead of world record schedule, that is! A slight drop in pace up to 35km would cost him, but it was not for a lack of trying, and he very nearly pulled off what would have been a quite extra-ordinary and surprising world record. Kenyan dominance But then again, perhaps we should not be surprised at what Kenyan marathon runners are producing this year. To date, with New York looming as the final Major marathon of the season this weekend, Kenyans have won every single major marathon this year. No exceptions. They took London, Boston, Paris, Chicago, Berlin, Rotterdam, Amsterdam and the IAAF World Championships in Daegu, Korea. What is more, the course records in every single one of the World Marathon Majors has been broken THIS YEAR (all by Kenyans, of course). The London record fell to Emmanuel Mutai (2:04:40), Boston went down in that amazing 2:03:02 (admittedly, wind-aided) to Geoffrey Mutai, and then Moses Mosop, who was second in Boston, won Chicago in 2:05:37. And of course, there was Makau, who took Gebrselassie's world record in Berlin with his 2:03:38. The world is used to Kenyan dominance in distance events, but not like this. Looking back, Kenyans have consistently made up more than half of the world's top 20, so it's not too surprising. However, their "monopoly" has always been broken by the odd Ethiopian, a Moroccan. They have, to date, been absent in 2011 - Kenyans occupy the top 19 places in the world-rankings, and the highest ranked non-Kenyan this year is Marilson dos Santos of Brazil in 20th place. The best placed Ethiopian is Bekana Daba, down in 26th (he is also the first non-Kenyan to win a marathon of any significance this year - Houston in 2:07:04). But in the larger scheme of things, Kenyan dominance aside, the marathon is currently in the midst of a quite remarkable "paradigm shift". It was less than a decade ago that the world record stood at 2:05:42 (Khannouchi). Jump ahead, and the average time of the top 10 in the world has been FASTER than this since 2009. And consider this: having been the fastest time in history until 2002, FIVE men bettered it in 2008, 7 in 2009, 8 in 2010 and 8 in 2011. The world record from a decade ago would now only just scrape into the top 10. It is an incredible surge in both quality and depth, the likes of which have not been seen in any event before. Jne. http://www.sportsscientists.com/