I have no problem at all with your assessment. And indeed if healthy I’m sure he would have been right in the mix. Had he won gold I think you are right, he could enter the discussion of greatest miler.
But he was injured and he did finish 12th.
Steve Ovett was a dominant miler. Multiple WRs to boot. But, no Olympic or World Champ medals (to be fair the Worlds hit near the end of his career but he was there in 1983 and tactically blew the final).
It is hard for me to call Kiprop greatest of all time. It belittles history and runners from other eras. Coe, Elliott, Ryun, Keino, etc.
I think it is almost impossible to choose one greatest, and certainly Kiprop should be in the discussion. One more gold would immensely help his argument.
Unfortunate injury in London aside, he has shown up when it counts and he been one of the few guys that has been good in time-trial type races and in championship finals. I think his consistency has been underrated in an era where guys who have been studs at a young age tend to fall off the map after only a couple of years.
Even though he has the hardware from Beijing, I’m sure he would like to actually cross the line first in Rio, as well obviously defending his world title this summer. If he does happen to win in Rio, he would be the first to win titles at 1500 eight years apart EVER (El-G had seven years between wins in 1997 and 2004, though he was 2nd to Morceli in 1995).
He has the championship finishes and times to be an all-timer, though it is impossible to definitively compare across eras. Rather than try to compare him to performers from the the 50/60s/70s, Ovett/Coe/Cram in the 80s, or the EPO boom, I’ll just say he is the best 1500 runner we’ve had over the last decade.
Although there’s no way to know, and certainly even Kiprop isn’t above suspicion, but I think it’s likely he’s the legitimate WR holder at 1500. There’s no way it’s El G, Lagat, Cacho or anyone else from the EPO era.
Actually, I doubt there are ANY WRs from the EPO era that are legit and that includes Radcliffe, Komen, Geb, Bekele and probably Kipketer as well.