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Athens follow-up

ATHENS CLASSIC MARATHON

2001-11-04

Winning the Athens Classic Marathon has given Kenyan, Noah Bor the incentive to train harder and come back in 2004, and win the Olympic title on the same course. But he knows hell have to get past scores of his compatriots in the intervening period to have any chance of even getting back here. And a trio of his rivals are his brothers, the most famous of whom, Simon won Los Angeles two years ago, and has a best of 2.08.47. "Simon is the king of our family. When I started training in 1994, he coached me, and later some of my other brothers helped out. There were six of us, and four are still running seriously". Lesser known Kenyans like Bor have made a habit recently of winning marathons when they were supposed to be pacemakers. It happened in Chicago last month, and in Berlin in both 2000 and 2001. Last years Berlin winner, Simon Biwott gave pacemakers an even better name by going on to finish a close second to Olympic champion, Gezahagne Abera after an enrthralling race in the World Championships in Edmonton in August. But the hardest part for Bor probably comes now that hes made a name for himself. He admits that winning as a pacemaking debutant had considerable advantages on probably the worst day for weather in Athenian marathon history. However, since that history is 2,500 years old - going back to Phillipides famous run from the battlefield of Marathon - we can vouch for that. "I didn think I was coming here to win," said Bor after his wind and rainswept run, which culminated in the magnficent marble Panathenaikon Stadium, built for the 1896 Games. "I was supposed to pace to between 27 and 30 kilometres, but after that nobody followed me. "Most of my colleagues had problems, but since it was my first marathon, I couldn make any judgement. But I know Im capable of winning now. So I intend to train even harder, and I hope to be back here for the 2004 Olympic Games".

Pat Butcher


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