By Omulo Okoth
World marathon record holder Patrick Makau says he has no ill-feelings towards Athletics Kenya or the team selected last week for the Olympic Games. But he is still shocked by his exclusion from the team.
"I went to London knowing I was already in the team for the Olympics. I therefore was not going to push myself to finish the marathon," Makau, 26, told FeverPitch.
"Olympics come only once in four years. Ethiopians have been training for it since January. That is a whole seven months. My recovery period is four months, that is why I wasn’t going to run hard in London last month," he said.
"I sacrificed a lot of races since last year for the sake of Olympics, but all that is now down the drain," he said.
He got valuable support from fellow marathoner, who held the world record before him, Paul Tergat.
"The selection was done in good time and the athletes selected are capable of winning medals. But they needed Makau in the team, because Olympics training is a different ballgame," said Tergat, who set 2:04:55 in 2003 in Berlin where Makau ripped Haile Gebrselassie’s record to 2:03:38.
"I was shocked that Makau is not in the team after announcing last year that he would get a wild get a wild card to the games after he broke the world record in Berlin," said Tergat.
"I have watched Ethiopians this year and I know they can beat us in Olympics, given their longer training period," said 43-year-old former Olympics silver medallist.
"We are not doubting their ability, but asking them to recover and train in three months is expecting too much in too short a time and we may not get the results that we may desire from them," said Tergat.
Makau said had he finished in London Marathon last month, he would not have guaranteed a good performance in Olympics.
AK named Wilson Kipsang, twice world champion Abel Kirui and Moses Mosop for the Olympics men’s team. Mary Keitany, world champion Edna Kiplagat and Prisca Jeptoo were selected for the women’s team. They finished in that order at the London Marathon in April 2012.