© Pool It’s not as complicated as you might think.
When Ethiopian runner, Shura Kitata finished second behind Kenya’s Eliud Kicphoge in the 2018 London Marathon, he admitted he had struggled to get his pre-race fuel right.
In a Tweet, the 2020 London Marathon winner said, ‘I made tricky mistake, I didn’t eat breakfast, I just had some fruits. I thought I’d be OK. But I end up being very hungry. At 35/36k, I felt my stomach touching my back, super hungry. Went out of energy. I will be back and win the race.’
When speaking to BBC Sport Africa after this win, Kitata said, ‘this year, I ate everything.’
‘I had soup, bread, eggs and yogurt – everything that I could to boost my energy and it helped me keep my energy up and I was able to win the battle.’
© Richard Heathcote 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon
Kipchoge is said to have had an issue with his right ear which led to his subpar performance at this year’s London Marathon. ‘I started off well. But I just got a slight problem with my right ear. It got blocked, and I tried to do all necessary, I tried to hold back, but it was not possible. But this is sport. Today you are up, tomorrow you are down.’
Gallery: These amazing runners with learning disabilities ran the virtual London Marathon for Mencap today (Runner’s World UK)
While the conditions were tough, Kitata said he was excited when he saw the rain; ‘I was excited because I had been training in heavy rain season in Ethiopia’.
He also said the focus on Kipchoge and Bekele spurred him on; ‘When the pandemic struck, I didn’t just stay at home. I was working with my coach for five months. It was not special because I beat Eliud Kipchoge, it was special because I worked hard.
‘Everyone was focussed on two athletes – Kipchoge and Bekele – and I didn’t get any attention. I told myself that I will prove to the world that there is another champion and this feeling is what made me able to sprint to the end with full confidence and energy.’
The 24-year-old athlete has now set his sights on winning the men’s marathon at the Tokyo Olympic games next year, ‘I will try to bring a gold medal for my country and also for my children to have as a memory – so they can one day say “my father was an Olympic medallist”’.
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