News : The value of Mohamed Katir’s deed
The deed of Mohamed Katir these last weeks, accumulating the records of 5,000, 1,500 and 3,000 meters (in this order) is an achievement rarely seen not only in Spanish athletics but also in the world athletic context. Let’s not say if we refer to the contemporary track sport. Only legends like Gebreselassie, Bekele, or the current Jakob Ingebrigtsen or Josuah Cheptegei have achieved similar achievements, although in some cases at other distances.
If we transfer those achieved by Katir, the 23-year-old led by Gabriel Lorente, to the Spanish environment, throughout history we only find four other men who managed to accumulate these three national records at the same time: Pedro Prat (1916, adding this also the title of champion of Spain of Cross, the first in history); Juan Muguerza (the man who gives its name to the prestigious International Cross of Elgoibar, 1921-24), Joaquim Miquel (1924-25) and the legendary Jose Luis Gonzalez (1985-1993 and this being also two times champion of Spain of Cross in the 80 and 81).
Comparing Katir with González are already bigger words, since the Toledo is considered by many to be one of the most classy and versatile Spanish athletes that there has been in our country, and thus apart from being a great brand and a runner-up del Mundo of 1,500 on the track (Roma 87), González was also able to win prestigious road races such as the San Silvestre Vallecana.
But the merit of what Mohamed Katir achieved is that he has accumulated this amount of great records in just over a month, since on June 10 he achieved 12: 50.79 in 5,000 meters (4th in the Diamond League in Florence) until 7: 27.64 of the 3,000 on July 13. On the other hand, Katir has brushed with these three marks (it is necessary to point out the 3: 28.78 of the 1,500 of last Saturday) the records of Europe of the moment and becomes the three distances in the second best European of always, to little margin to surpass any of them.
But there is even more in what the athlete from Playas de Castellón has achieved, and that is that so far this year has won two appointments of the prestigious Diamond League, something that no Spanish athlete had ever achieved, except for our Olympic runner-up in 110 hurdles, Orlando Ortega.
Katir won at Gateshead on May 23 the 5,000th under tremendous weather conditions, with wind and rain, in 13: 08.52. And on the same track, the second victory over 3,000 meters, already mentioned, took place. By the way, that in these 3,000, apart from making a marcón, he dominated the race tactically as he wanted, letting Oceania record holder, Mcsweyn, a man of 7: 28.02, who Katir made look like anyone in the final meters of the race of the record of Spain.
It is clear that, although Carlos Mayo is a great competitor and an exceptional long distance runner (27:25 this year in the 10,000 meters and he will run in Tokyo this distance as the main focus of attention and later the 5,000 as he does not take a place from another Spaniard), the Zaragoza was lucky, or rather, Katir was unlucky, that her new Asics shoes, with the latest carbon plate technologies and others, and which do not have nails on the front, but rather plastic studs, did not grip nothing or almost nothing on the crystallized track of Getafe, where the Spanish championship took place two weeks ago, and in whose final of 5,000 Katir succumbed in the final meters before the handy athlete.
And without further ado, we have to say that Mohamed Katir is a clear favorite to fight for the medals in the 5,000 meters of Tokyo 2021, although he calls for caution and says that his goal is to go to the final. We will see it the first week of August.