Saturday, November 6, 2010

mzungo exclusive: Dr. Gabriele Rosa's predictions

What's the race gonna be like?
Everybody is going to wait for Gebreselassie. That's normal. But it's not easy for him now. He had many races where he ran alone. Now he will be with many good athletes. What happened two times in London? The same may happen in New York. But, at the same time, I trust that he can be the winner. Some athletes are also very ready and it will be a very fast competition.

What does it take to break Haile?
I don't know. Maybe to change the pace many times? Like, follow one pace, very fast, and then change a little. That's not the best for him. But I don't know who can try. From our side, the only one that can change the pace is Wanjiru. The others are not so fast. I don't know. It's a special competition and I don't know if the final result is what everybody is thinking.

Who are your five guys who have a chance to win?
On our side, we only have James Kwambai because Martin Lel had an injury.

What happened to Lel?
He's not a lucky athlete. Every time you try to push him, he gets injured. But no problem, James Kwambai is very read. He ran 2:04:27 before [Rotterdam 2009, second to Duncan Kibet, third fastest time ever]. He's 27.

Last year in New York he DNF'ed after 23 miles due to stomach problems that started two days before the race. What happened in Rotterdam [he ran a 2:24]?
He had a small injury in the race. But now the training was very, very good. He is ready. No injury, nothing in the race! [laughs] We are waiting for Haile until the last seven kilometers.

So we have Haile, Kwambai - who else?
Many! The Kenyans are ready, Gebremariam also. But not more than four or five athletes can fight each other.

What about Abel Kirui?
Usually he is a front runner but he works with the same manager as Haile. I don't know if they decide to fight each other. Haile likes a consistent pace but Kirui changes pace a lot. Also Mutai, Peter Kamais, winner of the NYC Half Marathon this year.
Who knows what's it gonna be?

Thank you so much.

Dr. Gabriele Rosa is arguably the world’s greatest marathon coach. His athletes, mostly Kenyan, have won every major marathon on Earth. Rosa-coached athletes have won world cross country titles, world track titles, Olympic medals and set numerous world and marathon course records.