Flashback Friday-Daniel Komen 3000m
He came and went so fast he never even made an Olympics. He was like a bull in a china shop, he came in like a whirlwind and smashed world records and was gone before you had a chance to appreciate him. While Haile Gebrselassie, his great rival, was the world’s most famous runner, smiling his way to success and only retiring this year, Daniel Komen’s star burnt brightly but like a rock star, he quickly burnt himself out.
In 1994 he won the 5000m and 10000m double at the World Juniors and broke the World Junior Record for the 5000m in 12:56 just behind Moses Kiptanui who set the Senior Record at 12:55. The following year Komen came down with Malaria which affected him for all of 1995.
In 1996 He failed to make the Kenyan team for the Atlanta Olympics as he finished fourth in the trials. This proved to be the impetus for the one of the greatest if not the greatest set of records of all time.
Firstly he broke the World record over 2 miles on July 14th in Sweden, running 8:03.54. One month later he runs 7:25.16 for 3000m, just 0.05 second of the existing World Record. He then runs within a second of Gebrselassie’s world record when he runs 12:45.09 for 5000m. 2 days later he runs a personal best of 3:34.17 and a week later he runs 7:25.87 again for 3000m. The Wheels look to have come off when he runs a mediocre 13:02 in Berlin in Late August.
What do you do? Take a Break?
He flys to Reiti, Italy to take another crack at the 3000m record. He sets off in 1.57.0 and the commentators break into laughter at the incredible pace. The laughter stops as he passes through the mile in 3.54 and keeps this suicidal pace up all the way to the line, smashing the existing World Record by 4.5 seconds. No one has been within 3 seconds since.
Splits from his 3000m World Record
1000 2:25.89 (59.26)
1400 3:23.55 (57.66)
1800 4:23.46 (59.91)
2000 4:53.18 (29.72)
2200 5:21.83 (58.37 – 29.72/28.65)
2600 6:21.58 (59.75)
3000 7:20.67 (59.09)
The following year he wins the world championships over 5000m, runs 3:29.46 for 1500m, 3:46.48 for the mile and another world record running 12:39.74 for 5,000. He also becomes the first and so far only man to run 2 back to sub four minute miles when he runs 7:58.4.
He continues on through the season of 1998 when he runs 7.24 for 3000m indoors, runs another 7:58 two-mile and wins a silver medal in the World Cross Country Championships and wins the 1998 Commonwealth Games 5,000-meter Championship.
Komens 2 Mile Highlights
After this he faded into obscurity due to a lack of drive and training. He retired at 26 in 2002 following several abortive comebacks.
We may not have had him for long but we will always have Reiti.
Splits of his WR 2 mile
Distance Time All-Time Rank Date Place
1500 Meters 3:29.46 12th 16 August 1997 Monaco
1 Mile 3:46.38 5th 26 August 1997 Berlin
2000 Meters 4:51.30 9th 5 June 1998 Milano
3000 Meters 7:20.67 WR 1 September 1996 Rieti
3000 Meters (i) 7:24.90 WR 6 February 1998 Budapest
2 Miles 7:58.61 WR 19 July 1997 Hechtel
5000 Meters 12:39.74 3rd 22 August 1997 Brussels
10,000 Meters 27:38.32 53rd* 30 August 2002 Brussels