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Holmen takes Marathon title

Day 6’s events consisted of the Men’s Marathon, 800m and 5000m Final, as well as the Women’s 1500m finals.

Janne Holmen of Finland recorded one of the major shocks of the Championships, when he ran away from the rest of the field to win in 2:12.14, a minute clear of his rivals.

In conditions effected by heavy rain, Holmen took the lead early and maintained a consistent pace from start to finish. Passing through 10K in 31:43, Holmen was soon to be joined by the ‘unfancied’ Norwegian runner, Karl Rasmussen. These two ‘unlikely’ leaders headed a field who chose not to follow a somewhat ‘damp’ pace. With Paris Marathon winner, Benoit Zwierzchlewski of France, and Julio Rey of Spain content to run in the group 39 seconds off the pace as early as 10Km.

What was to happen was a ‘gross’ underestimation of Holmen’s ability; considering the man had run 28:30 for 10 000m over the last 2 years, as well as a sub63 half-marathon. With Rasmussen and the Finn content to run together, they passed through 15K in 47:26 [no staggering pace] and quite remarkably they had increased the lead to 58 seconds. Yet, when they passed through the halfway mark in 66:44 and the rest of the field had not made a move to close the gap [the gap was still 57/58 seconds] one began to wonder whether the ‘folly’ of the main group would be realised.

At 30K in 1:34.20, the stupidity of the chasing group [or non-chasing group] was proving to be ridiculous, as the distance to the front had increased to 1min 29. The ‘contempt’ of the more fancied runners was rewarded with shock. Shock when they [the group] attempted to apply pressure from 30K to 35K, only for Holmen to match them by running 15:23 for those 5Km’s. A move which was to rid the Finn of the intentions of the Norwegian.

35K came in 1:49.44 and the gap to the chasing group was still 1:28, the pursuers had however closed on Rasmussen. With 7K of the race to run, the chasing athletes would have to produce something remarkable to catch Holmen, however when the Finn covered the next 5K in 15:34 to pass through 40K in 2:05.18, he had all but ‘sewn up’ the race.

From the chasing group emerged Pavel Loskutov of Estonia, Spain’s Julio Rey and Daniele Caimmi of Italy, who ‘ghosted’ past the ‘luckless’ Rasmussen [who had the only joy of recording a PB of 2:14:00 for 8th] within the last 2K. This trio were now left to fight out for the remaining 2 medals realising that the gold was no longer within their grasp.

Rey was the first to attack with 1K to go and he soon disposed of the Italian, however Loskutov was content to wait until the final 300m before pulling away with relative ease to take the silver in 2:13.18 with Rey finishing in 2:13.21 for bronze.

Holmen went on to record a fine victory in the most memorable manner for the ‘hardworking’ Finn, however best forgotten by the rest of the more ‘fancied’ runners.

Results : Women’s Marathon

Janne Holmen

Janne Holmen

1 Janne Holmen (Fin) 2:12:14
2 Pavel Loskutov (Est) 2:13:18
3 Julio Rey (Spa) 2:13:21
4 Daniele Caimmi (Ita) 2:13:30
5 Alberto Juzdado (Spa)2:13:35
6 Alejandro Gomez (Spa) 2:13:40
7 Kamal Ziani (Spa) 2:13:51
8 Karl Rasmussen (Nor) 2:14:00
9 F J Cortes (Spa) 2:14:14
10 Migidio Bourifa (Ita)2:14:58
11 J Caballero (Spa) 2:15:07
12 A Di Cecco (Ita) 2:15:52
13 DaniloGoffi (Ita) 2:15:57
14 Zwierzchlewski (Fra) 2:16:00
15 Gino van Geyte (Bel)2:16:04
16 Viktor Rothlin (Sui) 2:16:16
17 Piotr Gladki (Pol) 2:17:19
18 AsafBimro (Isr) 2:17:30
19 O Andriani (Ita) 2:17:41
20 V Zabelis (Gre) 2:19:31
21 Sergio Chiesa (Ita) 2:19:43
22 Vodage Zvadya (Isr) 2:20:51
23 Jose Santos(Pol) 2:20:55
24 Yrjo Pesonen (Fin) 2:22:58
25 Toni Bernado (And) 2:23:13
26 Torben Nielsen (Den)2:23:36
27 Manuel Pita (Por) 2:23:41
28 Margus Pirksaar (Spa) 2:23:51
29 Antonio Sousa (Por) 2:27:09
30 Alcidio Costa (Por) 2:27:09
31 Z Zilberstein(Geo) 2:30:10
32 Haile Satayin (Isr) 2:30:38
Guy Fays (Bel)
Sreten Ninkovic (Yug)

800m Men Winner Wilson Kipketer Denmark Time 1:47.25
Wilson Kipketer demonstrated that he is again approaching the status of ‘unbeatable’, when he coasted to victory with relative ease over the final 250m. For the man who has been through enough ‘troubles’, which would have made a ‘grown man cry’, it was great to see his infectious smile rise large after this important victory.

The first 400m was a slow 54 seconds and the Kenyan-born Dane, was in contention ‘sitting’ on the ‘home’ favourite Nils Schumann’s [Olympic Champion of 2000 and defending champion] shoulder. With 250m Kipketer accelerated and maintained his lead to the line. Behind him however the battle for silver was not over and Andre Bicher moved from 6th spot to 2nd before the line, relegating the German to bronze position.

The win was important to Kipketer as it signalled the return to championship winning form.

Results : Men’s 800m Final

Wilson Kipketer

Wilson Kipketer

1 Wilson Kipketer (Den) 1:47.25
2 Andre Bucher (Swi)1:47.43
3 Nils Schumann (Ger) 1:47.60
4 P Czapiewski (Pol) 1:47.92
5 Arnoud Okken (Ned) 1:48.39
6 Bram Som (Ned) 1:48.56
7 Rene Herms (Ger) 1:48.86
8 Nicolas Aissat (Fra) 1:49.16

1500m Women Winner Sureyya Ayhan Turkey Time 3:58.79
Sureyya Ayhan of Turkey beats hot favourite Gaby Szabo of Romania in a battle to the line in 3:58.79. The Turkish athlete attempted the same tactics at last years World Championships and on that occasion she was run out of the medals.

Few would have thought that matters would be any different, with Szabo tracking her every move. Ayhan set a very strong pace from the start and soon stretched the field out, assuring that a medal was ‘hers’ for the taking. On entering the final 100m, Szabo made her move to go ‘alongside’, however Ayhan managed to hold off Szabo’s challenge. Thus denying Szabo of winning a European Championship title, something the Romanian has yet to remedy.

Tatiana Tomashova of Russia runs a personal best to take the bronze medal.

Results : Women’s 1500m Final

Sureyya Ayhan

Sureyya Ayhan

1 Sureyya Ayhan (Tur) 3:58.79
2 Gabriela Szabo (Rom)3:58.81
3 T Tomashova (Rus) 4:01.28
4 Judit Varga (Hun) 4:02.37
5 D Yordanova(Bul) 4:03.03
6 N Rodriguez (Spa) 4:06.15
7 Alesya Turova (Blr) 4:06.64
8 Nuria Fernandez (Spa) 4:07.11
9 Lidia Chojecka (Pol) 4:10.56
10 I Lishchinska(Ukr) 4:11.70
11 I Fuentes-Pila (Spa) 4:13.02
12 C Sacramento (Por) 4:17.01

5000m Men Winner Alberto Garcia Spain Time 13:38.18
Spain’s Alberto Garcia provided yet another gold medal to the country that has dominated the distance running events at the Championships..

The pace was never one of ‘high octane’ level and with Kamiel Maase content to be in front, without adding a strong tempo, the race was always going to come down to the strongest sprinter or most ‘wily’. Garcia had both in his armoury and he ‘non chalantly’ sped away from his rivals to win by a clear second, this after most of the field being bunched together with a lap to go. A truly remarkable gap, considering the ‘tightness’ of the race.

Ismail Sghyr of France came through for 2nd with the Ukraine’s Sergiy Lebid taking the bronze medal.

With Garcia’s victory Spain captured all the Men’s distance events on the track, as well as a silver in the Men’s 1500m and a bronze in the marathon.

Results : Men’s 5000m Final
1 Alberto Garcia (Spa) 13:38.18
2 Ismail Sghyr (Fra)13:39.81
3 Sergiy Lebid (Ukr) 13:40.00
4 Roberto Garcia (Spa) 13:40.85
5 Kamiel Maase (Ned) 13:41.42
6 Mark Carroll (Irl) 13:42.87
7 Balazs Csillag(Hun) 13:49.03
8 S Vincenti (Ita) 13:50.53
9 Sam Haughian (Gbr) 13:50.75
10 Michele Gamba (Ita) 13:53.28
11 Jesus Espana (Spa) 13:55.80
12 Christian Belz(Swi) 13:56.69
13 Tom Compernolle (Bel) 13:57.46
14 Marius Bakken (Nor)13:57.89
15 Erik Sjoqvist (Swe) 13:57.96
16 R Chekhemani (Fra) 13:59.75
17 M Yeginov (Rus) 14:05.45
18 G Di Napoli (Ita) 14:08.19
19 Michael May (Ger)14:12.01
20 Dalibor Balgae (Cro) 14:14.55
21 J Johansson (Swe) 14:22.98
Dnf: Hassan Lahssini (Fra)

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