November 4, 2001
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK
Q. When you gave the thumbs up at the 21st mile mark it looked like you were real tired. Then you turned to the crowd, gave the crowd a thumbs up?
TESFAYE JIFAR (Through Interpreter): He says really he doesn't remember, but he's feeling okay.
MODERATOR: I think he did it three or four times, we saw, this way.
TESFAYE JIFAR (Through Interpreter): He says when he sees Ethiopian people (inaudible) he doesn't want to talk about, so he says for the people that support him.
Q. You saw them in several different places?
TESFAYE JIFAR (Through Interpreter): Yeah, especially that I think at 20 something, so when he sees them he's doing this for the Ethiopian people.
Q. When did he decide to make the final break because he made one move and caught a guy, responded, then he went again and Kosgei couldn't stay with him, just when did he decide to go to win?
TESFAYE JIFAR (Through Interpreter): He says first when we three people together, I tried to push. The reason I do that, it make easy for me when we get two people, so the third person have to drop as the last I can use what I have my energy and my strategy to move from the one person I left. That's what he said.
Q. Can you tell us about how and when he lost the vision of his right eye?
TESFAYE JIFAR (Through Interpreter): He says I am not afraid -- I have when I am a baby, a bull, his father have a farm and animals, so when he watching them.
Q. How old?
TESFAYE JIFAR (Through Interpreter): I think he doesn't exactly know, but he's around 11, 12 years old.
Q. Is this really his first Marathon win? I couldn't tell for sure, but that's what I saw in your book. I don't know if you have all his races.
MODERATOR: He won Amsterdam -- second. Has he won a Marathon before?
TESFAYE JIFAR (Through Interpreter): He never win a Marathon before.
Q. Is it difficult for much of the race you were surrounded by Kenyan athletes. Is it difficult to try to run your own race when there are so many from one country around you?
TESFAYE JIFAR (Through Interpreter): He says as a competition we compete, but even the Kenyan-Africans they are the same from my country, we are the same continent, so I am proud of them, but it's a competition, and I have to win the race. So he doesn't have any problem.
Q. Can you talk about when he made the move, he just didn't feel strong enough to go with him at that point?
MODERATOR: You are talking to Japhet?
JAPHET KOSGEI: During the race, there are some -- (inaudible) in London I was trying to -- I am still trying to learn how to use my body because nobody knows about his body, sometimes it is good; sometimes it comes when it is not good, so last year I tried to apply what I was trying to learn and using my body when running, but I even couldn't push after that first half marathon, so it was very hard, I just went that way. So, when I went back home and ran in London, it couldn't work again but I knew what was the problem. So, this year when I went back after London in April, is when I now tried to work on the opportunity and I was very much relaxed until when I -- you saw he was pushing and I was pushing. I wanted to push most of the time to see how strong I can go, so that when I go back home again I can know what to do. So I think for the next time when he tries to push, I push many times when he was very strong, he was indeed very strong, so last time I was two hours 12, and but this time two hours 9 minutes, so I think when I go back home I will try to have the final touches to apply all my tactics, then I will be happy about this. For now, I am happy about it. Because it is almost about two -- about 3 kilometers to the finish line in the application of what I am still trying to do.
Q. Ethiopia has such a great marathon tradition but no one from Ethiopia, man or woman, had ever won this race before. Did you know that and how do you feel about being the first Ethiopian to win it?
TESFAYE JIFAR (Through Interpreter): He says he never know that Ethiopian never win in New York, but he just run and do his best and he win. But he doesn't know before.
Q. Do you feel proud that you are the first?
TESFAYE JIFAR (Through Interpreter): He says yes, I am proud.
Q. Can you tell us just exactly who your brother is?
TESFAYE JIFAR (Through Interpreter): Habet (phonetic) Chebet. He's famous. Actually he's top runner in my country.
Q. He has brothers in Boston now?
TESFAYE JIFAR (Through Interpreter): Oh, he's not --
Q. Do you have brothers?
TESFAYE JIFAR (Through Interpreter): He brothers, yeah.
Q. How many, two?
TESFAYE JIFAR (Through Interpreter): Yeah.
Q. Both of them live in Boston now?
TESFAYE JIFAR (Through Interpreter): Yes.
Q. Will you be seeing them soon?
TESFAYE JIFAR (Through Interpreter): I think they are here, but I didn't see them yet.
Q. We have tried a couple of times, if either of these could explain the end of the race, the deciding moment of the race, when Jifar got away from Kosgei, what happened, how he did it? Is that a possibility, the deciding moment in the race, when he got away from Kosgei, how he did it?
TESFAYE JIFAR (Through Interpreter): He says that's the last decision I have to make and to win, that's why I make it as the last moment, that's my decision, to win, to be first or second.
Q. Any concerns about the security, just before or after or during the race or while you were running?
TESFAYE JIFAR (Through Interpreter): He says I proud of everything. The security is very good. I was happy. Everything was secure.
Q. Were you nervous going into the race? Were you a little nervous when you first started, was that in the back of your mind that perhaps something could happen?
TESFAYE JIFAR (Through Interpreter): He says I never think about that.
Q. When did he realize he might have been setting a course record, or did he know he was setting a course record?
TESFAYE JIFAR (Through Interpreter): He says I didn't think about the course record. I just run and to be, you know, to win or second, was he get, but he doesn't think about the course record.
Q. The prize that he won today was 130,000, I think when you add up the first place and the record. 130,000. What does that kind of money mean in Ethiopia?
TESFAYE JIFAR (Through Interpreter): (Laughs). He says it is very good to get that money.
Q. What about the car?
TESFAYE JIFAR (Through Interpreter): He says he has a car, but he is proud because he work it hard, he deserve it, so I am proud what I get here, but he already have the car in Ethiopia.
End of FastScripts....