Press conference Highlights - Friday, 28th September 2007
Haile Gebrselassie, Defending real,- BERLIN MARATHON champion 2006 with a time of 2:05:56 hours
“The last five or six kilometers in last year’s race were a big problem for me. They really hurt. That’s why I’ve put more emphasis on stamina this time but don’t think I’ve lost any speed. Berlin is a very fast course. The statistics speak for themselves, many athletes had done their best times here. But I can’t predict what time I’ll do in the end. When I mentioned 2:03 it was easy enough to say and write, but doing it is quite another matter. In 2006 I ran the last few kilometers on my own but it’s important to have people to run against. Having an opponent makes you run that much harder and give everything you’ve got over those last kilometers.”
Recovery time after a marathon for an international athlete such as myself is two to three weeks; after that you can get back into proper training. It’s not unusual to have a break of five weeks and such as if Gete Wami runs in New York to go for the jackpot. I could be running every week in some marathon or other and getting money for doing so. But I haven’t needed to run for money for a long time now because if you do that, you lose sight of your true objective. There’ve been two occasions so far when I tried to break the world record for the marathon. The first time in Amsterdam, the wind was too strong and last year in Berlin things didn’t go quite right. On Sunday I’ll be going for the third attempt. The difference between racing on the track for 10,000 metres, for example, compared to the marathon, is that on the track you have to deal with the other runners and the clock. With the marathon you have a third factor to cope with and that’s the distance itself. It’s never easy to say you’ll run a world record. I know all about doing that on the track. But I’ve never set a world record in the marathon. That’s the difference.
I’m very confident going into this race because Berlin has always been a lucky city for me. I’ve been running here for so long and never lost a race. It’s always brought me success. I hope the temperatures will be between 14 and 17 degrees (Centigrade) and it won’t be raining or windy. When it rains you can’t control your footfall so well, you can easily lose your balance, particularly if you land on your forefoot when you run like me. I have tried various shoes to counter this and some are better than others but what you have to be careful of above all when it rains is the road surface.
As for my ambitions and hopes in the years ahead, all I can say is that I definitely want to take part in the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008 and want to return to Berlin for the World Championships in 2009.
Sonia O’Sullivan – (AUS/IRL)
“I can’t tell you if this will be my last marathon. You never know. If the atmosphere is good and I feel right, I might run again. I’ve never run a really good marathon. In New York last year I did 2:42, it was more a case of enjoying myself than competing. I’ve never really specifically prepared for a marathon. I hope here in Berlin to run faster than in New York. If it goes well, I might think about running other races in the World Marathon Majors series, not as a leading contender, certainly, but with better results than I’ve done up to now, I hope.”
Philip Manyim, real,- BERLIN MARATHON champion 2005
“I was in excellent shape when I won here in Berlin two years ago. My form right now is also pretty good, perhaps good enough to run a personal best. If the pace at the start isn’t too fast, I could make Haile Gebrselassie take me seriously as a rival. In Paul Tergat’s world record run the pace wasn’t so fast at the start. It was only in the second half of the race that the tempo increased. If the race starts too fast on Sunday, I doubt if I’ll be able to go with it.”
Mark Milde, Race Director of the real,- BERLIN-MARATHON
“We’ve arranged for three pacemakers to maintain the pace to at least 30 kilometres. In addition, another two will have the job of helping the other three keep the tempo going in the leading group to the half-marathon point. The plan is to go through halfway in under 63 minutes.”
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