In this audio interview, I take you to the press conference, and bring you in, as the meet management opened the event to limited questions from the media. The first is from TV Africa, and I asked two questions. Kenenisa Bekele speaks quietly, but much more relaxed and more effusive than I have ever seen him in the past.
“It is my first time, and my first marathon, ” noted Bekele to the questioner. Kenenisa Bekele is just quite realistic about the marathon distance, but also possesses the confidence of someone who has run 25k runs with many kilometers under 3:00 per kilo pace. Bekele also admitted to running 40-45 kilometer runs in training. He looks fit and well-prepared.
Bekele asks to go through the half marathon in 61:40. “If possible”, he notes, that he would like to set the WR. That, more than likely, is not Sunday, but, stranger things have happened. With his pedigree on the track, Kenenisa Bekele may be the most talented distance runner since Gebrselassie to move up to the marathon.
One hears the cameras clicking, someone coughing. This is all of the distractions that one faces in the mass interview process, trying to get questions in. Although, with the exception of the reporter from TV Africa, and myself, no one asked questions to Bekele in front of the group. About twenty reporters, from newspapers, L’Equipe, TV and radio were in attendance.