This is a tough one since both were amazing runners. I think Henry Rono had greater talent, but Kip Keino was more successful in the big meets. Rono had better times in everything except the 1500m but he also cut his career short with his alcoholism...which he later overcame.
In 1981 Rono did something which i think is unparalleled. On September 9th he was third in Rieti over 5000m with 13:12.47 (the WR then was 13:08.4). Two days later he won the 5000m in London with 13:12.34, another two days later he improved his 5000m WR to 13:06.20 in Knarvik. That's three 5000m races in four days, two within 4 seconds of the WR and one actually breaking it. Can you imagine anyone running 12:41 twice within a couple of days and then adding a 12:35 ? Talentwise Rono was one of the greatest ever and with better management and consistent training he could have ran a LOT faster.
Last edited by norunner on Sun Oct 06, 2013 12:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"management" I'm guessing you include his well documented drinking proclivity. To think what he 'could' have done with a more structured life sans alcohol. and a more disciplined approach to training and competing. He's not the lone ranger in that regard, but very few with his talent. And to think I wasn't following track very much during those years. I will go to the corner.
thought this would get more 'air-time' - oh well. The intended stroy line was - Rono = a great one who fell short of his vast potential (and comparable times to Keino) albiet well shy of Keino's 'awards' v Keino who was the early prototype of Kenyan superstars, and versatility nonparallel. If a 3k or 5k came down to the last lap ... mmmm. I admired both of them/still do and am unsure who I would choose if forced to.