Paul Tergat is definitely one of the all-time greats. I considered ranking him second or third before settling on seventh. Tergat has many amazing accomplishments including but not limited to: 5 gold medals in World Cross Country Championships, 2 gold medals in World Half Marathon Championships and 2 Olympic silver medals. He held the marathon world record (2:04:55) and he has run 59:06 in the half marathon.
However, at least in my mind, two of Tergat’s performances stick out:
1) 10,000m Olympic final in Sydney (2000) – In one of the best races ever (EVER!!! – if you haven’t seen this finish, watch it below), Tergat fell just short, losing to Gebrselassie by nine one hundreths of a second.
2) 2005 NYC Marathon – several years later, Tergat found himself in another close race. He dueled back and forth with Hendrick Ramaala in Central Park, and after one last push, Tergat surged for the line while Ramaala fell just short (literally – see below). The margin of victory was approximately three tenths of a second.