I interviewed Ghirmay Gebrelassie at the Virgin Money London Marathon. He was articulate and thoughtful. He analyzes his career like a journo. This guy has insights, speed and talent. I think he’s going to rule the marathon someday, here’s why.
Ghirmay Gebrselassie is the real deal.
In a press conference culture where many of the Kenyan and Ethiopian athletes have challenges speaking their minds in English, Ghirmay was articulate, thoughtful and always observing.
Remember, this young man was said to be 19 or 20 when he won the Beijing World Championships in 2015. He crushed Wilson Kipsang and Dennis Kimetto, among others. Running in the heat of Beijing was ” very hard”, as Ghirmay Ghebrslassie.
In a culture where birth records are difficult to provide, this young man, is at the beginning of his marathon career, whether he is 19,20, 23 or 25. . He won his first full marathon, at Hamburg, where he ran 2:07 and no one had a clue about him in Beijing.
In April 2016, Ghirmay fell down in London, and ran a personal best, of 2:07:41, but was not happy. His run in Rio, wher he finished fourth was followed by his dominating run through the streets of New York City.
When this writer asked Ghirmay about the level of effort for New York, Ghirmay looked at me, understanding full well the question and noted that, compared to Beijing, New York was quite easy.
I believe Ghirmay can have run 2:05 here. When asked if he wanted a fast time or a win, Ghirmay spoke like zen Master he is: ” If one runs fast enough, one will win.”
The Marathon Professor, Sean Hartnett told me that Ghirmay should have run 2:05:57 at London last year, where he fell. So, Sean thinks he is ready for a big one.
Can he win this London marathon? Really depends if the niggles that Kenensa Bekele has experienced become an issue, and if both Bekele and Ghebrselassie can control Bedan Karoki.
So with Ghirmay Ghebrselassie, mark my word, this guy is headed for marathon domination.