Athletics Athletics

G Mutai: Kimetto raised the bar higher


MUTAI-KIMETTONAIROBI, Kenya, October 14- It speaks volumes about the extent Kenyans have raised the bar in marathon running if one can clock 2:03:52 and still lose a race.

In a scintillating display of front running on Sunday, Dennis Kimetto, smashed the course record of the Chicago Marathon by clobbering the previous benchmark of 2:04:38 to 2:03:45.

Kimetto forced compatriot Emmanuel Mutai to accept second in a scarcely believable 2:03:52, the fastest losing time ever in a world record eligible course.

“What he did out there was unbelievable. We were left wondering what that was,” his training partner and last year’s Berlin Marathon champion, Geoffrey Mutai said on Monday.

“I don’t know what we have to do now since the standards are being raised higher and higher. It only means we have to train harder and push ourselves beyond the limit to cope,” the athlete preparing to defend his New York Marathon title early next month added on Monday.

Mutai convinced Kimetto, 29, to start running only two years ago, turning the athlete who was only interested in farming into one of the most feared marathoners on the planet.

“We (training group) are so happy for him and his performance has inspired us all. It gives me the motivation to go out and do something in New York,” said Mutai, the reigning World Marathon Majors crown holder.

Last year, the pair staged the most bizarre finish to a marathon, with Kimetto seemingly not interested in overtaking his mentor as they came close to the tape for the Berlin Marathon.

“It was something out of respect since Dennis felt he could not finish ahead of his guardian who did a lot for him,” their manager Gerard Van de Veen told American athletics website, before the Chicago race.

Mutai, who holds the New York course record of 2:05:05 kept cards close to his chest when asked whether he could attack the mark he set in 2011 before the race was cancelled last year due to super storm Sandy.

“I have prepared well and I will do my best,” he said.

“For now, we want to welcome Kimetto back and give thanks for what he did, it has still not sunk in,” added the athlete who ran 2:03:02 in the 2011 Boston Marathon, the fastest ever over the 46.1 Mile race although the course is not world record permitting