Just moments after Shura Kitata sent shockwaves through the sport of marathon running by dethroning the great Eliud Kipchoge at the Virgin Money London Marathon, a World Athletics Platinum Label road race, the victorious Ethiopian experienced a seismic shock of his own.
Kitata’s coach, the highly respected Haji Adilo, had remained in Ethiopia instead of accompanying his athlete to London for what Kitata had been told was family reasons.
It was only after Kitata’s dramatic triumph in The Mall on Sunday (4) that the athlete was informed of the real reason Adilo had stayed at home – a positive Covid-19 test that had forced him into quarantine.
The bombshell news had been deliberately withheld from Kitata by Adilo and the rest of his support team, who worried it might have a negative impact on his state of mind in London.
And even though Adilo’s positive test had been revealed in the media several days before the race, the news somehow never filtered through to Kitata. Social distancing rules at the athletes’ out-of-town hotel had insulated the Ethiopian from any gossip.
Instead, Kitata went to the start-line on Sunday in blissful ignorance, which turned to blissful joy a little over two hours later when he outpaced Kenyan Vincent Kipchumba by a single second in a dramatic final sprint to win in 2:05:41.
Read more at: World Athletics