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  • #76
    Re: What's your top 10?

    Renato, these last postings of yours are really very good stuff. It's quite obvious that here is a man that knows the sport very well and is willing to share his interest and expertise with others.

    So, Renato, thank you again. As you have the time I am sure many of us would love to see more from you.


    • #77
      Re: What's your top 10?

      Renato, good choices for the 1500 and 800, each of us would probably shift some of the choices around. Re the 800 m first, Fiasconaro above Harbig - no way. Re the 1500 m, two names that could be included.
      (a) Walter George - the best women are running roughly his times, ~120 years later.
      (b) Arne Anderssen - he ran Hagg close in many races, and in 1944 beat him in quite a few races, plus WRs. In the final one mile run against Hagg in 1945 (last WR), he ran with a starter's cartridge "sticking" to the spikes on one shoe. An unlucky runner, and if Hagg is #5 - and I agree he deserves high ranking - Arne could/should make 10X.


      • #78
        Re: What's your top 10?

        For those of you who aren't familiar with Mr. Canova, he's an Italian coach who works with many of the top Kenyans today such as Stephen Cherono and Nicholas Kemboi.


        • #79
          Re: What's your top 10?

          Renato, I would like to add my thanks for a well thought out top 10 list on two of my favorite events 800m and 1500m (although I can not longer run them well).

          It was good to see that we are in agreement that Seb Coe is the only middle distance runner that places in the Top 10 in each event (and rather high in each).

          I have always thought that Steve Ovett could have been a much better 800m runner than he did (although his Gold Medal in 1980 is pretty good) given his tremendous speed. Too bad he never concentrated more on running fast 800 times or he may have joined Coe as a doubler on these lists.

          Thanks Again,

          Mark (aka Ultrarunner)


          • #80
            Re: What's your top 10?

            Of course, it's not possible to make a list good for everyone regarding any type of activity more than 100 years long. It's already difficult and much debated thing to make an yearly ranking, just think an all-time ranking !
            Anymore, I think that one thing is an historical reason, another think a technical reason.
            Athletics of more than one century ago was an activity practised by very few athletes, and expecially in very few Countries. Really, at the end of 19th century, only GBR and US had some idea of athletics, like is clear looking at the results of first OG in 1896, with winners running in ridiculous times (12.0 for 100m, 54.2 for 400m, 2:11 for 800, 4:33 for 1500m and 2:58 for the Marathon). George was of course an "historical pioneer", but cannot be put in top 10 all-time. Only few athletes of the past can find place in this special list : athletes able to do something special (Owens, Warmerdam, Harding, Jarvinen, Thorpe), and able to stay at the top for long time.
            About Andersson, he was of sure a very good runner, but lost the most part of races against Haegg, and the final best were of Gunder.
            Another athlete that could find place is Paavo Nurmi, also if he is more important in the history of long distances.
            About Fiasconaro-Harbig, may be that my opinion is also due to the affections that I feel for March, that was the top Italian runner that I coached, when I was yet very young. March was son of an Italian orchestra conductor, Gregorio Fiasconaro, born in Castelbuono in Sicily, and emigrated in South Africa. Marcello (March for his SouthAfrican friends) born there, becoming a good rugby player. But, like many southafricans of that period, he went also to the track for running 400m. At that time (1970) was in RSA the Italian Discus thrower Carmelo Rado (58.45), that during a meeting in Potchefstroom, seeing this guy winning in 46.6 with an Italian name, asked him if he was Italian. When Rado knew that March's passport was italian, he wrote to It. Federation, and the President Primo Nebiolo organized the travel to Italy for March. Meanwhile, he had improved his times, running in 45.7 (that could not be Italian NR because March had not yet finished the documents for his new nationality). So, he could come to Italy only in June '71.
            At that time, the Italian responsable of 400, 400hs and 4x400 was Salvatore Morale, former record holder winning ECH in Belgrade '62 with 49.2, and bronze medal in OG '64. I was his assistant, because at that time (only 26 years old....) I had some of the best Italian runners of 400m (Puosi 46.5, Cellerino 46.7 and some other around 47/47.5) that of course always were very far from american sprinters. So, March was the man that permitted to Italian Relay to win its first bronze medal in 4x400 relay during ECh in '71.
            When he arrived the first time in Italy (Milan), it was on 29th of June in 1971, two days before the "Notturna di Milano", meeting in which Marty Liquori ran the best seasonal time of 1500m in 3:36.0 beating Franco Arese (3:36.3, NR).
            I went with Morale to the airport for receiving March. He arrived with a T-Shirt white and green like in the Rugby Teams, with a very small bag.
            Two days later, he won 400m in Milan in 46.1, moving at the start his foot in front : never he had tried any start from blocks !
            In August (after winning in Viareggio against Juantorena, during the first European race of "Caballo", with 45.7, new Italian record) I went as responsable of the team for a short period (two weeks) of "oxygenation" in altitude. We went to Abetone (1800m high), without no place for running. After one day of investigation, I found a rough road up and down to reach thru chair-lift, having a small circuit of 1200m about. We started running, and after 10 min all the other athletes of the relay were 200m back. March was improving step by step, and I (that at the time yet was a runner every day), after 40 min, told him : "You can become in two years the new Record holder of 800m". "But I don't like 2 laps, I'll never run the distance in the future".
            March won silver with 45.49 in ECh, then came back to RSA. When he came back, in the spring of '72, he won his first 800m in Bergamo with 1:47.7, then ran 3 x 200 in official competition with 15 min of rest (it was a special training for all the best Italians) in Formia in 21.2/21.4/21.7. It was the end of his career like 400m runner. March had horse-feet, and was good for training only on grass or tracks of earth. The new tartan distroyed him, that had to skip OG having a microfracture that nobody was able to see.
            Gone back to RSA, he rested 3 full months, than began training with more long run, using golf fields with wonderful grass.
            His coach was Stewart Banner, owner of a chain of restaurants, that moved him on 800m.
            At that time, in RSA there were two very strong specialist : Broberg and Malan, and then Fanie Van Zijl, better in 1500 but not bad also in 800. So, March cometed many times, winning the most part of competitions and running 1:44.7 in April. Then he came to Italy.
            In Italy, he was in Torino (my town) beeing attached with CUS Torino, the Univeristy Center whose President was Primo Nebiolo. I was the coach of Fiat, the other club of the town, that had a track yet in earth, while the official Stadium was in tartan. So, with Nebiolo we decided that he could come for training with me, on the Fiat track.
            I adviced him to do something more on the side of endurance, but substancially never changed the programs of Stewart Banner, that were very very simple :
            a) If you have a race of 400m on Sunday, you go on Tuesday for 3x300m in 34.5/34.0 rec. 8'/10', and on Thursday for 6x150 in 17.0 rec. 3'/4'

            b) If you have a race of 800m on Sunday, you go on Tuesday for 3x600m in 1:21 rec. 10', and on Thursday for 6x300m in 39.0 rec. 3'/4'.

            So, I remember very well the last workout before beating the world record (27th of June 1973).

            It was on 22nd. He went for 3x600m. It was very hot, terrible.
            March ran the first in 1:19.6, then, after 10', the second in 1:19.2. After 8 min I was no more able to see him on the track, so I had a full lap, and, when I arrived near the water jump odf steeple, full of water, I saw him completely underwater, breathink with a small cane like Rambo in his movie. When he saw me, he asked me : "How much is?" speaking about recovery time. "Now are 9 min, March, but it's better that you finish here".
            "No, now I go, Stewart (that from 4 months didn'y hear him...) says that I have to do 3x600, so I go".
            "OK March, but runs about 1:25, because the race against Plachy is in short time".
            And I requested to Max Strenghetto, another runner capable of 1:51, to help him for the last 300m in 42.0.
            March started slowly, and after 300m his split was 42.2, but Strenghetto, may be for some emotion (like sometimes pacers at the beginning of a race) started 10 meters before, very hard.
            March didn't want to lose without fightning also if tired, so improved continuously the pace, reaching Strenghetto in the last 5 meters. His time was 1:18.6 (so, the second 300m were 36.4), and I and him were sure about the World Record.


            • #81
              Re: What's your top 10?

              Renato.. thank you.... great stuff. We love you here !!


              • #82
                Re: What's your top 10?

                sono entrato in questo sito x vedere cosa rispondevano top 10 del mio fratellino e vedo che hai cominciato pure qua a lasciare il tuo segno. bravo...Secondo me fai bene. Su quell'altro sito (non faccio nomi) e' pieno, purtroppo, di gente ignorante.

                Devo anch'io mettermi a pensare ad un top 10 (pero' puo' essere qualsiasi cosa).

                Per te quali sono i TOP 10 degli italiani di sempre in qualsiasi prova????

                The question question to my friend Renato is which are his top 10 Italians ever---in any event.

                A presto
                PS---si vede che non ho un c---- da fare questo venerdi sera


                • #83
                  Re: What's your top 10?

                  sono entrato in questo sito x vedere cosa rispondevano top 10 del mio fratellino e vedo che hai cominciato pure qua a lasciare il tuo segno. bravo...Secondo me fai bene. Su quell'altro sito (non faccio nomi) e' pieno, purtroppo, di gente ignorante.

                  Devo anch'io mettermi a pensare ad un top 10 (pero' puo' essere qualsiasi cosa).

                  Per te quali sono i TOP 10 degli italiani di sempre in qualsiasi prova????

                  The question question to my friend Renato is which are his top 10 Italians ever---in any event.

                  A presto
                  PS---si vede che non ho un c---- da fare questo venerdi sera


                  • #84
                    Re: What's your top 10?

                    Renato, Fascinating insight about March. I had the privledge of training/running with George Kersh here in the US in 1990/1991 and I remember his running a workout of 3 x 600m in 1:21 and being pretty wiped out by it and he was in 1:44/1:45 shape at the time so it gives me significant appreciation of the same workout being done in 1:19. We trained in Mississippi here in the USA and it was hot but we never even thought about utilizing the steeplechase water pit (LOL) to cool off. You Europeans are so creative!

                    Thanks again for the story!



                    • #85
                      Re: What's your top 10?

                      A top 10 ranking for 5000m is one of the most debatable things in a statistic work. Really, in the history of Ayhletics never there was a specialist able to last long time, with a very big gap on other runners. So, I'm sure that this list can be questioned by many people, but is the list that I have in my mind, made of facts and of personal sensations regarding what I personally saw.

                      1) LASSE VIREN : He's the only athlete winner of two OG (72-76). He was not a very fast runner, but was able to destroy other competitors with a progressive final without giving the opportunity of breathing. He used, both in Munchen '72 and in Montreal '76, the same tactic. After a very slow 3k, that seemed good for athletes coming from 1500m (like Dick Quax, or Marty Liquori), he was able running last 2000m about 5:05 improving speed every lap, going in front : 65 + 63 + 61 + 59 + 57, increasing his speed every time another tried to go to his side.
                      He was also able to improve WB after '72 Olympics, but never was an athlete trying records. He was stimulated only by OG (winning both 5000 and 10000 in two different Olympics). He was also the first using blood transfusion of his own blood : at that time was a very advanced scientific practice, after '85 was considered doping. In any case, we cannot speak now of a "doped athlete" : under the moral point of view, 30 years ago many scientists, all over the world, had the idea to use athletes for their researches, helping at the same time them in improving their performances. Everything was under very strict control, and not with the spirit of cheating, but for better knowing human body and its reactions. So, personally I think that the practices of 30 years ago are very different from the doping of today, under the moral point of view. How I said on LetsRun, every man is son of his time.

                      2) SAID AOUITA : He beated two times the WR, won OG '84 and WCh '87, but above all was the first man able running under 13 min. He was one of the most global runners that I ever saw (like Gebre, Zatopek or Paavo Nurmi), winning a medal in 800m in OG '88, running only once 10000m in 27:26, trying also steeple. But when he broke the WR was fantastic. It was in Rome, by night, but weather was not very good, because the percentage of humidity was very high, and the night was hot. He had a rabbit till 3.300m about, then went alone. I really think that he could run in 12:50 with better conditions.
                      I learnt many things from Said. I saw for the first time an athlete using what now I call "Special Blocks" of training, going in following days for very hard training in the same direction (may be also 4 days), then recovering very well for the same period. These types of "Blocks" are always able to increase very much the shape of the athlete, if well interpretated.

                      3) HAILE GEBRSELASSIE : He never was a winner of gold in top events (only in World Junior Ch. '92 he won Gold). But, due to the concomitance with 10000m, he ran only in WCh '93 the event, winning silver back Ismail Kirui. Anyway, his 4 WR, going from 12:56.96 in '94 to the current 12:39.36 in '98, are enough for putting him on the podium of the event.

                      4) VLADIMIR KUTS : The Russian runner was able to break WR four times (from 13:56.6 winning European Ch. '54 to 13:35.0 in a "solo" in Rome '57). He won OG '56. Not fast in the final, he used to push very much from the 3rd km of the race, running alone. You must think that rabbits were not allowed at that time, so the records (till '85) have a different value. Kuts was the ring of connection between Emil Zatopek and the New Zealander runners of Lydiard, like Murray Halberg and Bill Baillie.

                      5) EMIL ZATOPEK : He can be considered the greatest "Long Runner" all-time, together with Paavo Nurmi and Gebre. He broke WR only once, but was able to win medals in 2 different editions of OG (silver in '48, gold in '52), winning ECh in '50, losing by Kuts in '54. Always he was taken up very much in top events, running 10000m and (in '52) also Marathon. In OG '52 he was able winning gold in all the 3 events (5000-10000-Marathon), that at the moment is not possible for anyone. Only Viren tried the same "slam" in '76, running Marathon only 16 hours after winning 5000m, but was "only" 5th !

                      6) PAAVO NURMI : The Finnish was able to beat WR in all the events from 1500m to long distances. Regarding 5000m, he won 3 medals in OG (silver in '20 - '28, gold in '24), and established a WR lasting 8 years.

                      7) MIRUTS YIFTER : He was the most impressive athlete that I never saw, before Gebre. I saw him the first time during 10000m in OG '72, unknown athlete not speaking one word in some western language. He was third in 10000m, but I think that he could win without a mistake that I can explain while speaking about 10000m. After this, he was not able to find the stadium for heats of 5000m, so could not to compete....
                      He skipped '76 OG due to the boycott of Ethiopia. In '77 had a terrible come-back, winning in World Cup both 5000-10000m with a terrible final kick. In '79 yet he doubled in World Cup, and in OG '80 was able winning yet 5000 and 10000m. His last lap was terrible : he was able running in 49.8 last lap (in Addis Ababa, 2700m of altitude !) during national Ch. in '79 (29:48 final time). I remember in Dusseldorf '79 a final 300m of 36.6 in 10000m. He used the same tactics every time : to follow the pace (every pace was good, he could easy break every WR at the time), and, when he was on the white starting line of 1500m (300m to go), to change speed like a sprinter, without any possibility for other runners. Potentially, the greatest all-time.

                      8) RON CLARKE : He never was good in top events, beeing not fast in the final. Anyway, we cannot not give a place in top 10 for an athlete that is the connection between ancient and modern type of athletics, regarding training methodologies. Ron Clarke was the first athlete that put long and fast run in his training. Till that time, many people ran very long and slow (following the systems of Van Aaken, of French coach Frassinelli, and also of Lydiard), using on the other side very fast short intervals. Clarke was the first to use, for example, 15 km at 3:00 per km (like a race), the work that now we call "Medium", that is done at 95-98% of racing pace, for longer distance. Now you must think that in the season there are many opportunities of competing, and top runners use races for their training, earning at the same time some money. But, in the first 60 years, expecially for an Australian runner, there were no many races, so you had to find in training stimula for increasing your aerobic capacity.
                      Clarke, without rabbits but always alone, brought WR from 13:35 of Kuts (lasting 8 years) to 13:16.6, beating it 4 times

                      9) HENRY RONO : Incredible talent, was able to beat in the same year (1978) records of 3000-5000-10000-3000 SC in very short time. He had problems with beer, like many kenyans, and was not able running for the next two years. After a period of recovering, in very short time he had a come back in '81, beeing able to beat his WR another time, in Knarvik (Norway), running 13:06.20. Really, he didn't win anything of important, but we must think that was penalized by the boycott in '80 Olympics, losing his motivation. He's uncle of Wilfred Bungei, the current n. 1 in 800m.

                      10) DANIEL KOMEN : His talent was very great, but his activity burned him in short time. In any case, he was the first athlete running under 12:40 (and is yet the 2nd all-time back Gebre), and won WCh in '97 without any problem. He has 4 performances under 12:50, among the 10 best all-time.

                      How you can see, there are many names from the past, because during the last years the turn-over of top specialists was continuous, and it's difficult to find some referement. During last 10 years, only Ismail Kirui (winning in WCh '93 and '95) could find a place in top 10.
                      The expansion of events doesn't permit to have the same athletes long time at the top. Now, we can look at Kipchoge, or Bekele, or Shaheen (that wants to move to 5000m) for awaiting some new runner able to go in top 10 in the future.


                      • #86
                        Re: What's your top 10?

                        And now I give my list of top 10 in 10000m.

                        1) HAILE GEBRSELASSIE : No doubt, he's n.1 all-time. He won his first title as junior in '92, then he won 4 editions of WCH (93-95-97-99) reaching silver in another edition (2003)-and bronze in 2001.
                        In Olympics, he won both Atlanta '96 and Sydney 2000, when already had big problems in his tendon. He improved WR three times, moving it from 26:43.53 in Hengelo '95 to 26:31.32 in Oslo '97 to 26:22.75 in Hengelo '98. He has 4 performances in top 10, and is the only man able running twice under 26:30.

                        2) EMIL ZATOPEK : He won two gold medals in OG ('48 - '52), two in European Ch. ('50-'54), and was the first athlete under 29:00. He broke 5 times WR, moving it from 29:35.4 of Heino to 28:54.2. His way of training was followed by many athletes. He was an example, not only in athletics, but also like person. When there was, in 1956, the Hungarian insurrection, Zatopek took position in favour of Hungarian people, and was opposed by Czech regime. I had with him a seminary with the Countries of old communist block in Prague at the end of '90, and was stricken by his charisma. He was not only a top athlete, was a leader for his people (like Gebre is a leader for Ethiopians).

                        3) LASSE VIREN : See what I wrote about 5000m. The victories of Lasse were the same : 2 Olympics Gold in '72 and '76, the first breaking the WR with 27:38.35. Lasse didn't do many other important performances, but in 1980 was yet able to finish in 5th position his 3rd OG in Moscow, also if lost the most part of the season for problems to his tendons.

                        4) PAAVO NURMI : The "horse man" won two OG in '20 - '28 and improved two times WR. His palmarees was not better, because at that time there were not WCH and EuCh. I prefer him to Ritola and Maeki for his capacity of last long time.

                        5) MIRUTS YIFTER : He won OG in 1980 with incredible facility, after dominating World Cup in '77 and '79. Personally, I think that he could also win OG '72 (in which he won bronze medal improving his time from 29:28 to 27:41) if the kenyan Moses, lapped at the bell, after going in second lane for permitting at the top 3 (Viren, Puttemans and Gamoudi) to pass, didn't come back suddenly to the first lane, having an impact with the Ethiopian following the small leading group. Yifter went out of the track, didn't understand soon what could do, lost more than 40m, and only after 6-7 secs a judge inside the track pushed him on tha track for running again. In spite of this accident, Yifter ran a very fast last lap, overtaking Gamoudi for winning bronze with 3 sec. of gap from Viren.
                        Only the boycott didn't permit to Yifter to win OG '76, cutting a part of his career. But, I repeat, probably he's the top talent that ever appeared on track.

                        6) PAUL TERGAT : Also if he never beated Gebre, and was not able winning any Gold in Olympics of WCh, he has a place in top 10, due to his silver medals (two in OG, '96/2000, and two in WCh, '97/99, more the bronze of '95). He was also the first runner under 26:30 (26:27.85 in Bruxelles '97, that is yet the 2nd performance all-time).

                        7) RON CLARKE : He never won some important medal, but his improvement in WR in '65 (from his 28:15.8 to 27:39.4), 36.4, is the greatest in the history. Clarke was able of keeping a pace very fast alone, as pacers were not allowed. He lost the last chance for a medal in OG '68, due to the fact that Olympics were in altitude (Mexico City), and he was not adapted like african runner.

                        8) YOBES ONDIEKI : He was not a specialist of this event, that ran only twice in his life. But, beeing the first man under 27, is correct to find for him a place into top 10.

                        9) ALBERTO COVA : He had a 4 years period without losing any race on the distance, from '82 (winner of European Ch.) to '85 (winner of European Cup), going thru WCh '83 in Helsinki and OG '84 in Los Angeles. His final kick was terrible. The first edition of WCH was amazing, with 5 runners in 0.89 on the finish line. His last lap (53.2) was perfect as tactic and choice of time for his increase in speed. He won OG '84 very easy, due to the boycott of African runners.
                        Cova ended his supremacy in EuCh '86, when won silver back the other Italian Stefano Mei. After that defeat, he lost his self-assurance, and was no more able to reach the same level.

                        9) KENENISA BEKELE : Yet very young, is already in my top 10 after only 1 year of activity on the event. Anyway, winning a race under 27 min beating Gebre with a second half in 12:57 is something that must go in the history, like the beginning of a new era. The future is for Bekele and Nicholas Kemboi, and 26 min are very close.

                        10) PYOTR BOLOTNIKOV : Won OG '60 and EuCh '62, improving two times WR. In Rome, he beated during last lap the German Grodotzky with a terrible finish, and the same happened during EuCh '62.

                        Not in top 10 because they had no continuity were two other athletes that impressed me very much :
                        JUHA VAATAINEN, winning EuCh 1971 with the race that I consider the more spectacular all-time, beating the favourite Jurgen Haase with a last lap in 52.8 (Vaatainen came from sprint, beeing the junior finnish record holder of 100m with 10.8 !) and RICHARD CHELIMO, WR with 27:07.91 in '93, yet junior record holder, and two bronze medals in WCh '91/93, and silver medal in OG '92.
                        He was the older brother of Ismail Kirui (twice winner of WCh in 5000m), and died last year, due to a cancer to the liver.

                        Other notable athletes are KHALID SKAH, Olympic Champion '92, DAVID BEDFORD, WR in '73 and show-runner in that period with his very aggressive way of running (now is the Technical Director of London Marathon), VLADIMIR KUTS, winner of OG '56 and record holder at that time.


                        • #87
                          Re: What's your top 10?

                          Renato-Fantastic stuff! I can't wait for your marathon picks.


                          • #88
                            Re: What's your top 10?

                            1) Bill Rodgers- wrote him a letter when I was about 13, and the guy had the class to respond back to me.

                            2)Nourredine Morceli- at his peak, there was no one(including the ElGuerrouj of the last few years) that could match his final 400 meters.

                            3)Alberto Salazar- was perhaps the toughest runner ever. He left everything he had in the race.

                            4)Craig Virgin- was able to beat the Kenyans and Ethopians at their own surging game.

                            5)Lasse Viren- beyond approach in peaking when it counted.

                            6)Pat Porter- used every ounce of talent he was given. Also, was a former NAIA runner as was I.

                            7)Mark Nenow- perhaps had more talent than any recent US runner. If only he would have work with a coach a little more often, who knows what might have been.

                            8)Said Aouita- one of the few who could talk the talk and walk the walk.

                            9)Sebastian Coe- in full flight there haven't been many runners that could compare.

                            10) Steve Ovett- from the 800 to the half marathon, he was one tough son of a gun.


                            • #89
                              Re: What's your top 10?

                              My personal list of 3000 SC.

                              1) MOSES KIPTANUI : He was the first man running under 8 min, breaking twice the WR. He won 3 times WCh ('91-93-95), was 2nd in OG '96 and in WCh '97. And was also able to break WR in 3000m (92) and 5000m (95). He could last yet some more time, if was not operated at a tendon, finishing his career (his come back was not of top level).

                              2) ANDERS GARDERUD : The Swedish was able to beat WR four times, running from 8:20.8 in '72 to 8:08.02 winning OG '76. The final of OG '76 was probably the best race on the distance during a top event. In the last furlong, 3 athletes (Garderud, Malinowski from Poland and the Eastern German Baumgartl) were together, and Baumgartl seemed able to win. But, attacking the last barrier, he fell down, so Malinowski was in front, with Garderud less than one meter back. During the last 30m, Garderud overtook Malinowski, winning with the new WR, while Baumgartl, gotten up again, was able to win bronze medal with 8:10 !
                              Garderud was, many years before, the national record holder of 800m with 1:47.4, and was able in 6 years to move to 5000m, running 13:17 (great time for that period).

                              3) GASTON ROELANTS : The Belgian began with the steeple his wonderful career, developed in cross and in marathon in a second time. He was the first man under 8:30, improving two times the WR (8:29.6 in '63 and 8:26.4 in '65). He won OG '64 in Tokyo, and EuCh '62 in Belgrade. He lasted long time, and is yet the World Record Holder of Masters Record, with 8:41.5 at 40y of age.

                              4) BRONISLAW MALINOWSKI : Athlete of big mass, very strong and powerful, was one of the best runners of 70 years. He never had a WR, but won two editions of EuCh in '74 and '78, won OG '80 after beeing 2nd in '76, and was in top 3 for many years. Good also in cross, and in all the events from 1500 to 10000m, died for a car accident when could yet beeing competitive at top level.

                              5) WILSON BOIT KIPKETER : In his career there are 1 WR (7:59.08 in '97), one gold and one silver in WCh ('97-99), one silver in OG (2000), and a great consistance for long time (from '97 to 2002, 6 full years in modern athletics are very long time). I coached him from 2000 to 2002. He was a very serious athlete, and only an injury (a very bad impact between the first finger of his right foot and a barrier, during Zurich meeting 2001) limited him in running more times under 8 min.

                              6) ZDYSLAW KRZYSZKOWIAK : The Polish was one of the best runners around 60 years. He put in evidence during EuCh '58, when was able winning both 5000 and 10000m. Soon after, he moved to steeple, breaking WR in '60 with 8:31.4 before winning OG in Rome. The following year, he improved yet, running very close 8:30 (8:30.4)

                              7) PATRICK SANG : Also if never was able to win a gold, his consistance was incredible. In WCh, Patrick was n. 8 in '87 and silver back Kiptanui in '91 and '93. In OG, he was n. 7 in '88, silver in '92. He won African Games in '87, and Gran Prix in '93. Already in top class in '87, he ended his career like runner of steeple in '98, having these seasonal bests :
                              1982 (18 years) : 9:13.2
                              1983 (19) : 8:41.00
                              1984 (20) : 8:22.45 (26° in the World)
                              1985 (21) : 8:23.68 (24° in the World)
                              1986 (22) : 8:31.1m (67° in the World)
                              1987 (23) : 8:14.75 (7° in the World)
                              1988 (24) : 8:12.00 (4° in the World)
                              1989 (25) : 8:06.03 (2° in the World)
                              1990 (26) : 8:15.50 (8° in the World)
                              1991 (27) : 8:13.44 (9° in the World)
                              1992 (28) : 8:09.55 (4° in the World)
                              1993 (29) : 8:07.53 (2° in the World)
                              1994 (30) : 8:12.16 (7° in the World)
                              1995 (31) : 8:06.80 (4° in the World)
                              1996 (32) : 8:09.77 (6° in the World)
                              1997 (33) : 8:03.41 (4° in the World)
                              1998 (34) : 8:08.01 (5° in the World)

                              His capacity of staying for 12 following years in top 10 makes him one of the best specialists all-time.

                              8) REUBEN KOSGEI : In every period, winning in two following years gold in OG (2000) and gold in WCh (2001) can put an athlete among the top. He was also able running under 8:00, with a PB of 7:57.29, 4th performance all-time

                              9) STEPHEN CHERONO (SAAEED SHAHEEN) : Yet very young, he's already one of the best specialist ever appeared. His only title was the gold in WCh 2003, with one of the more exciting races that I could see. He has an incredible mental talent : his levels of suffering are very very high. He won during 2003 some race for a very little gap : 0.01 in Zurich (8:02.48 when Kemboi ran 8:02.49), and 0.04 during Grand Prix Final (7:57.38 when Paul Koech ran 7:57.42). He has a fantastic potential, but doesn't like steeple. In the only race of 5000m, beated El Guerrouj running 12:48.81 (3rd performance all-time).

                              10) ALESSANDRO LAMBRUSCHINI : He was able to break the total Kenyan supremacy, reaching bronze medal in WCh '93 (back Kiptanui and Sang, but ahead Matthew Birir), and in OG '96 (back Keter and Kiptanui, but ahead Birir again). He won EuCh '94, taking bronze in '90 and silver in '98.
                              Like Patrick Sang, he was always finalist in big events : 9th in WCh '87, 4th in OG '88 and '92, 2nd in World Cup '89.

                              10ex) FRANCESCO PANETTA : Friend of Lambruschini, Panetta moved to steeple in '86, because not allowed running 10000m (his favorite event) in EuCh in Stuttgart, as was n. 4 in Europe but also in Italy (in fact, on 10000m, Italian runners had top 3 positions with Mei, Cove and Antibo). So he was diverted to steeple, and it was the beginning of a big career. In EuCh he won silver, but the following year became World Champion in Rome winning with 8:08.57 in a race leaded from the start. He won also EuCh '90, and was finalist in OG '88. Very aggressive front runner, he finished his career running marathon in '98.

                              May be that also Bernard Barmasai, Christopher Koskei and somebody else can stay in top 10. Barmasai was a very nice front runner, and yet he has the 2nd performace all-time, but was able winning only two bronze medals in WCh 97 and 2001, because not very fast in the final kick.
                              On the contrary, Christopher Koskei (my first athlete winning a World Title) was an incredible talent, but too crazy for reaching the results that he could obtain. In any case, he won WCh '99 and was silver in WCh '95, running barefoot in a crazy way, with a last lap in 57.0. He stopped training after winning World Ch., without having any problem, losing the possibility of winning OG 2000 that could win without any problem. His younger brother, Stephen Cherono, is taking advice from his mistakes.


                              • #90
                                Re: What's your top 10?

                                I was hoping Mr. Canova would produce a list of his top 10 marathoners (please still do!) so here are mine:

                                1. Abebe Bikila - What can you say? The dude was awesome. The post-race calisthenics after Tokyo sealed his No. 1. spot.

                                2. Frank Shorter - An Olympic gold and silver and
                                4 straight Fukuoka titles. Too bad he's become a jackass.

                                3. Rob de Castella - Consistent for a long time. Never got credit for breaking the WR in Fukuoka in '81.

                                4. Waldemar Cierpinski- Double Olympic champ. Doping allegations? Sure, but what the hell. Came back to get a bronze in Helsinki '83. Probably wouldn't have done crap at L.A. '84, but a shame nonetheless.

                                5. Ahmed Salah ? Never won the big one, but ran fast and placed high in many races, both championship and the other kind. Ran in 4 Olympics, his last as a 42 year old. Bronze in '88. World silver in '91. World Cup champ in '85 and '87. Broke the WR placing 2nd in Rotterdam '88. Ran 2:12 as a 41 year old.

                                6. Gezahegne Abera ? The only runner to win both the Games and Worlds. 3 Fukuoka titles. Needs to run a truly fast time to climb the list.

                                7. Mamo Wolde - '68 Olympic gold and '72 bronze.

                                8. Toshihiko Seko - Never won the Olympic medal he was twice favored to take, but a great career. Great flat top.

                                9. Erick Wainaina - never much outside the Games, but has Olympic silver and bronze, so he's happy.

                                10. Khalid Khannouchi - So many fast times, but can't be higher because he's never done anything in a championship race, and most likely never will...