Legendary Kenyan marathoner Ibrahim Hussein reveals most memorable race

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ATHLETICS Legendary Kenyan marathoner Ibrahim Hussein reveals most memorable race

Abigael Wafula 14:53 - 28.02.2023

Hussein was the first African to win the Boston Marathon in 1988.

Legendary marathoner Ibrahim Hussein has revealed winning the 1987 New York City marathon remains to be one of the most memorable moments in his athletics career. 

Hussein was Kenya’s sole representative in that race and he obliterated the strong field of athletes against all odds to cut the tape in 2:11:01- his personal best time.

“That was one of my most memorable moments,” he said.

Speaking about the 1992 Boston Marathon, Hussein says it was his ‘last wonderful race’ and the sweetest of all. Given a chance to go back to compete, he said he would go back to Boston and display the same results.

“I set a new national record there…I could have easily broken the world record,” Hussein said, adding that he crossed the finish line feeling fresh.

However, the course at Boston is yet to be ratified by World Athletics considering it does not meet the qualifying standards of a marathon.

The three-time Honolulu marathon champion noted that back in the day, athletics was not as competitive as it is currently.

He noted that the competitive nature of athletics today pushes some athletes to extreme places where they want to use devious way to rise to the top.

“In my time, excelling was easier. Nowadays, you have to put in so much effort to get something,” he said.

He also revealed that during his time, Kenya was known for producing middle and long-distance racers only but currently the presence of Africa 100m champion Ferdinand Omanyala and 2015 World javelin champion Julius Yego has changed the narrative.

The second Athletics Kenya meet held over the weekend at the Nyayo National Stadium had attracted the highest number of sprints.

“Kenya now has potential to produce athletes from any category,” he said.

© Ibrahim Hussein Facebook

The three-time Boston marathon champion, however, noted that the number of fans turning up for events has greatly declined.

“In my time, people would travel over long distances to come and watch us compete. We need to bring that back by marketing our sports,” he said.

Hussein noted that it was never easy for him as there are days he lacked training shoes. He also encouraged young athletes who would want to venture into athletics to grab the opportunities they have and not sleep on their talents.

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