“ For seven years I smoked and drank. I was standing in the pub all the time.”
Marathon runner Björn Koreman can hardly believe that he is now joining the renowned NN Running Team and has a chance to win the Olympic Games.
A month ago, the 29-year-old Koreman stunted in Vienna by meeting the Olympic marathon requirement, after throwing his unhealthy lifestyle overboard a few years ago.
“ In the end I went to do some running races, but I noticed that this combination (unhealthy life and sports) was simply not feasible. Then I went full for sports,” he says.
Six minutes under personal record
Koreman dive under his personal record in Vienna for six minutes. His 2.11.07 was also 23 seconds faster than the Olympic limit. At NN Running Team he will now train with world top players like Eliud Kipchoge, Joshua Cheptegei and Kenenisa Bekele.
“ Athletes I‘ve always looked up to. It’s a huge honor to be part of this team,” says Koreman.
Jos Hermens is the director of NN Running Team. He has high expectations of Koreman: “I predict him an insane future. If you see his progression, he can walk for another ten years.”
Three tickets for four runners
The Netherlands is allowed to send three marathon runners to Tokyo. Koreman is after Bart van Nunen (2.10.16), Frank Futselaar (2.11.30) and Abdi Nageeye (2.06.17) the fourth runner to meet the qualification requirement.
“ It remains unreal for me, if you see where I come today,” says Koreman. “In the spring I want to run even faster. I think I can get a minute harder and hope to secure my place in the Olympic team.”