In Summary
  • And when Kipchoge dips under two hours in Vienna next month, Sang will have further cemented his reputation as one of the greatest athletics coaches in the world.
  • “If there’s anyone who can predict Kipchoge’s performances, then it’s Sang who has coached the world marathon record holder for the last 19 years”

Eliud Kipchoge’s coach Patrick Sang is methodical, meticulous, not easily distracted and a stickler for detail.

This I confirmed, for the umpteenth time, at the weekend when I alluded to the possibility of Geoffrey Kamworor’s 58:01 half marathon record last Sunday in Copenhagen being a result of the fact that he’s part of Eliud Kipchoge’s INEOS 1:59 Challenge training partners and supporting cast at Kaptagat.

No. Sang wouldn’t take the bait.

He’s not a one-size-fits-all kind of person.

He believes each one of his athletes has charted out his or her own path.

“You’ll have to excuse the fact that I don’t want to mix the coming project (INEOS 1:59 Challenge) and this moment (Kamworor’s world record),” he reacted.

“However, we cannot separate the fact that the two athletes (Kipchoge and Kamworor) share the same support systems, train together in some sessions, etc.

“If there’s one to compare the two and what’s ahead, it’s the observers, media and the lovers of our beautiful sport,” he skilfully tackled my question. If there’s anyone who can predict Kipchoge’s performances, then it’s Sang, the Olympic Games and World Championships steeplechase silver medallist who has coached the world marathon record holder for the last 19 years. Since that day when a young boy approached him at a local athletics championship in Nandi County and pleaded “please, help me with a training programme.”

Sang instinctively crafted a programme for the 16-year-old and almost 19 years later, that young boy is about to become the first man to run the marathon in under two hours.

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