PARIS (FRA): "Everything is ok, training went well, but it´s a marathon and first marathon," says agent Jos Hermens before Kenenisa Bekele debut in marathon this Sunday in Paris. The Ethiopian star is expected to arrive to Paris on Friday morning. His main rivals at the 38th Paris Marathon with title sponsor Schneider Electric should be per latest start list other strong Ethiopians. Fourth and fifth from Dubai this year Tamirat Tola 2:06:17 and Molalign Azmeraw 2:07:12. Also Xiamen 2013 winner Getachew Terfa 2:07:32 and 2nd in Hamburg 2013 Limenih Getachew 2:07:35. From Kenyans to note Mark Kiptoo with 2:06:16 as best along with runners having bests from 2:08:04 to 2:08:24 Lukas Kanda Gideon Kipketer and Mike Kigen. Top French runner is Simon Munyutu and from other Europeans to mention Russian Grigoriy Andreyev. Interesting to see two debutants with sub 1:01 half marathon bests from Ethiopia Wasihun Mulle and Behailu Ketema. As pacemakers Ugandan Abraham Kiplimo and Kenanys Silas Kipruto with Erick Ndiema. In women race also Ethiopia having top names Aheza Kiros with 2:24:30, Meskerem Assefa with 2:25:17 and former steeple runner Ahmed Zemzem 2:27:16. On Kenyan side Flomena Cheyech winner of Vienna and Toronto last year and 2:24:34 best. Former Kenyan and now French Martha Komu has 2:25:33 best and Sarah Chepchirchir with 1:08:07 half best is the interesting debutant in the race along with French Laurane Picoche.
Jos Hermans is an athletes manager who gets it. Keep the pressure off your athletes. Always keep expectations way down, and let them over deliver.
When Kenenisa Bekele held off Mo Farah at the BUPA Great North Run last September, he revitalized his career. His training has gone well and he will race in Paris on Sunday in his debut marathon.
Watch for another piece on Kenenisa later tonight or first thing tomorrow.
Kenenisa Bekele, Jos Hermans, Pre 10,000m, June 2008, photo by PhotoRun.net