Q&A with…Patrick Sang

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Country: Kenya

Profession: Road Running Coach

As an athlete, Patrick represented Kenya at two Olympics in the 3000m Steeplechase, winning silver at the ‘92 Barcelona Games. He also won 2 World Championships silver medals in 1991 and 1993. After his retirement, Patrick has gone on to become one the top coaches in the world, having coached the likes of marathon legend Eliud Kipchoge, 2012 London Marathon Olympic champion Stephen Kiprotich and Emmanuel Mutai. Patrick is head coach of the Global Sport Communication camp in Kaptagat. Apart from coaching, he served on the County Executive Committee for Youth and Sports of Nandi County in Kenya’s Great Rift Valley.

What has been a defining moment in your career as an athlete and a coach?

As an athlete, my defining moment was when I won a silver medal for my country at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

Now as a coach, it was when Eliud Kipchoge decided to take part in the Nike-Breaking 2 project. His decision took us on a great journey, and I found myself learning more and more from him – in a sense the teacher becoming the student. I also learnt from Eliud about how mental strength is such a critical component of performance. This journey gave us the 2:00’25 in Monza, the World Record in Berlin and the INEOS Challenge performances.

What was the first thought that went through your mind when you heard the Tokyo Olympics had been postponed?

I was not surprised when the decision to postpone was announced because I knew the World Health Organization had already declared covid-19 a pandemic. However, I did take a moment to think about and almost reminisce about all the effort that had had already gone into the Games

When under pressure, what do you say to yourself to help you get through it?

When under pressure, I tell myself “You can do it, it is not the end of the world and many have gone through worse situations”.

What three things you would take with if had to be stranded on a desert island for a year

I would go for water, a knife, and torch.

(Image Credits: NN Running Team)