Sunday, August 24, 2008

Olympic Marathon: Making An Idiot of Brendan?

Getting on for an hour into the men's marathon in Beijing there are a dozen or so athletes away, running around 2:06 pace and having a jolly good race. Brendan Foster - who has been known to talk a load of crap at times - is predicting that they'll all collapse and fall by the way side.

I'd say a dozen racing Africans will yield two or three stayers and that the time will at very least threaten an Olympic Record. We're seeing 10k and half marathon tactics being carried over into the full marathon which could prove magnificent.

Meanwhile UK Athletics have not taken the fastest Brit - the rather mercurial Tomas Abyu, an ex-Ethiopian citizen who has run 2:10 and proven himself in "match racing" circumstances - and are relying on Dan Robinson who is a couple of minutes slower. Strange stuff. Tomas will probably run 2:08 within the next 12 months. He ran the fastest half marathon by a GB athlete this century in the Great North Run last year.

This was scarcely noticed. Dan has been getting funding support for years. He is a good guy and a consistent performer. He deserves to be there. Tomas gets physio, medical and a little cash support from my club Salford Harriers but otherwise has to support himself. Bizarre.

Brendan Foster is digging himself deeper. Though the group is down to five now ... BF is suggesting none of these five will medal ... it's time for bed.


Anonymous said...

How is it an "ex-Ethipian" citizen can suddenly turn up as a Brit.

Are you suggesting Britain does a Lottery funding deal on all Beijing's Gold-winning athletes and agrees to make them Brits?

Another mad socialist idea. Suggest you start working on Brown's personality. That's an Olympic task to turn him into something with a reasonable genetic pattern.

Anonymous said...
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benchilltory said...

i thought that the bbc coverage was not very good.
many sports were overlooked.
Eurosport had much better coverage.
The bbc used to be good at sports but now they seem obsessed with having "personalities" talking talking talking.
i pay my TV tax regularly and expect something a bit better for my money unfortunately they take my money but never ask me how it should be spent(certainly not £18 million on Jonathon Ross).
The Tv tax is still good value compared with sky and others, however it is not worth paying for endless "strictly come choir practice andrew lloyd weber adverts talent(less) shows lottery ticket promos on ice"
bbc one and two, radio four ,local radio(without the pop music) and the world service is all we need.

Anonymous said...

Radio Four is very boring.
Radio Five Live does news in a more accesible way.

Chris Paul said...

Tomas came to Britain many years ago as a refugee. Three years ago he was granted citizenship. He ran for GB in the European Championships last time.

Needless to say Brendan was completely and utterly wrong. Perhaps they will drop him soon from the commentary team? Most of the events he comments on are promoted by his own company. That is a ridiculous conflict of interest.

He would never for instance say - "the women's field is rather modest this time, so our girls have a chance" though there have been those times.