"That's his typical trick," Liquori thought. "He's got to come back. Just keep your own pace, baby."
At the 660 Keino had looked back, and Liquori was no closer. But by the gun he was 20 yards behind. "He's coming back," Liquori thought. "But I'm getting tight. This isn't going to depend on speed. It'll be who's strongest."
As they came up the backstretch, Keino looked again. "I'm still here," Liquori thought. He stared at Keino, and their eyes met. "And I'm coming."
In the final turn Keino looked a third time. "That's it," Liquori thought as they came off the corner. "I have him. He's dead."
Keino was in the second lane, so Liquori moved in. Then, curiously, Keino pulled up some 50 yards from the finish, turned, looked Liquori in the eye and smiled. He was a defeated man. His strength had failed. He had nothing left.
"That son of a gun," Liquori muttered. Then he yelled at Keino, "Don't quit, dammit." He, too, slowed to a jog, finishing in 3:42.6, with Keino more than a second behind. Asati, Bon and Robert Ouko, Keino's teammates, stood amazed. "He's in shape," Ouko muttered. "In good shape. I don't know what happened. We wanted to give him the race. We told him he couldn't run the relay so he would do well here. Then this."
Keino put his hand on Liquori's shoulder. "Good. Well done," he said.
"Let's take a lap together," Liquori suggested. Keino declined, then took one himself. He was as mysterious in losing as he is in winning.
"What happened?" he was asked.
"Something," Keino said.