Abdi doesn’t want to say literally that he will be chasing his European record of 2:03:36 for two years on Sunday. “I’m not going to make any big statements,” he explains. “But if weather conditions allow, it’s possible. Based on my training, I’m stronger than I was in April, when I was only twelve seconds off the European record in Rotterdam. But they don’t call Chicago ‘The Windy City’ for no reason.” Thing. “…the wind can be a real mess.”
The track in Chicago is flat, and in Paris a whole series of slopes awaits next year. Shouldn’t Abdi have chosen a different match in preparation? “They are really diametrically opposed circles,” admits the Ghent resident. “In this regard, I could have run better in New York, but it motivates me to run with fast times. Moreover, I will be able to really measure myself in Chicago, because with Kelvin Kiptum maybe my main rival for next year will be at the start.. “The 23-year-old Kenyan was crowned the second fastest man ever in London in April with a time of 2:01:25.
Abdi is still considering whether he will run a final marathon in the spring of 2024 as part of his preparations for the Olympics. Tokyo on March 3 seems to be the best option. “We are still in discussions, but I hope it will be in Tokyo,” he said. “This is the only major marathon that can be easily combined with the Games. If it’s not Tokyo, I might as well do the Ghent Half Marathon.”
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