Jan Frodeno is best known for his Olympic glory in 2008 when he won a gold medal in the men's triathlon at the Beijing summer Olympics.

 

Frodeno was born of German parents and spent his youth in Cape Town. He now uses Stellenbosch, South Africa as his off-season base and spends the rest of his time in Germany.

 

As a child, Jan was constantly moving, quite literally – either on his horse, his mountain bike, skiing or entering swimming galas.

He developed a passion for surfing and once when he came home frozen from surfing in the sea, he told his mother 'I'm a soul surfer'. A good description of how he uses his will and discipline; factors that contributed to him attaining the gold medal in 2008. He's also open to other disciplines that may help his sporting achievements, such as hypnosis and Feng Shui.

 

Jan qualified in 2011 for the 2012 Olympics and is currently preparing himself for that challenge.

 

Double Olympic champion Kenenisa Bekele would probably have preferred to stay in Ethiopia where it was Christmas Day, rather than suffer the ignominy of a shock defeat at the Bupa Great Edinburgh XCountry on Saturday 7 January.

 

The world's greatest ever distance runner looked a shadow of his former self as he finished well down the field in 11th position in the International 3k race at the IAAF Permit event meeting in Holyrood Park.

 

There were no excuses from Bekele as he struggled in a race which included two other 2008 Olympic gold medallists; Kenyan's Asbel Kiprop, the 1500m champion, and Brimin Kipruto, winner of the 3000m steeplechase in Beijing.

 

Fortunately Kiprop, a former World Junior cross country winner, upheld the trio's reputation when eventually scoring a relatively easy success by five seconds from an elated Briton Jonny Hay, in a time of 9:20.

 

They were followed by defending champion Eliud Kipchoge, who finished runner up behind Bekele over 5000m in China.

 

 

Bekele, despite suffering his second defeat over the lush Holyrood Palace course in the last two years, remains confident his performance did not send out the wrong message.

 

"The course was okay and my shape is not good, that's the reason," said Bekele, "I'm 50/50 at the moment and I was not confident before the race. It is too early in the year to be in great shape.

 

"My goal is to build up for the Olympics and I want to do it slowly. I'm not happy with the result but what can I do about it? I wanted a good position but my body was not ready."

 

Kiprop, his eyes already fixed on the defence of his title at the London Olympics, admitted he was surprised to have won the race which included his world class fellow African runners.

 

"This was a great race for me," said the 2011 runner up, who then later in the year went on to win the World 1500m crown in Daegu. "I came here last year and this victory proved my preparations are good."

 

Kiprop, who broke clear in the final kilometre, added: "I expected Bekele and the others to come up on me and I was surprised when they didn't respond."

 

The race was undoubtedly the highlight of the weekend's events.

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