WE'VE had “how fast would Usain Bolt have run had he not started celebrating over the last 20 metres of the Olympic 100”. Now, Haile Gebrselassie's world record in the Berlin marathon raises further hypotheticals.
I would mostly agree with the author. As to the question of whether he would have won the Olympic marathon, I'd change the answer to maybe but doubtful. Wanjiru looked unbeatable, by anyone, on that day. As to the question of number 1, Wanjiru all the way. As the author pointed out, Wanjiru beat the year's best field and did so in a true racing environment with true racing tactics. Geb ran two very well orchestrated fast times against less than the world's best assembled fields. My vote is for the one who actually raced and actually ran against and beat the world's best.
I agree with Ryan on this – to be #1 you have to go up against the top runners at the time and at the same race. To be #1 takes more than speed – Wanjiru paced his race very well and new when to make moves that demoralized other runners. His speed + racing tactics make him #1. (at this time)