FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Prague International Marathon Will Determine Olympic Dreams
PRAGUE, April 28, 2008 -- Along with a galaxy of other global running
stars, three elite women athletes -- from Russia, Brazil, and Liechtenstein
-- are set to race for their Olympic dreams at the Volkswagen Prague
International Marathon (PIM) on May 11.
For several elite runners from around the world, PIM is the last chance on
the IAAF running calendar to qualify for the Beijing Olympic Games. But the
spotlight will be shining most brightly on Alina Ivanova of Russia -- a
two-time PIM champion -- Brazil's talented Sirlene de Pinho and ambitious
Nicole Klinger of Liechtenstein.
All three women stand a great chance in Prague to qualify for Beijing --
provided they can pull off a world-class performance in the Czech capital.
"I have one shot, one chance to qualify for the Olympic Games in Beijing,
and that's in Prague," de Pinho told PIM. The Brazilian, yet to win a
marathon, has triumphed in several half marathons, including in Rio de
Janeiro in 2005. But she'll need to run under 2:35:10 to get to Beijing.
Ivanova, a former Olympic race walker who won the 10-km at the 1991 World
Championships in Tokyo, is a known quantity in Prague, having won here in
2000 and 2006. But to make the Russian Olympic team, Ivanova will have to
race under 2:25:34.
Klinger, for her part, is a marathon newcomer.
A triathlete, Klinger won the U23 European Championships in the duathlon in
2002 and triumphed in the 2005 U25 Ironman World Championships in Hawaii.
But she sees the marathon, which she won in first attempt at Kandel
(Germany) in March, as her best chance to qualify for the Olympics in
"I chose the Prague Marathon because I wanted to do the race in the middle
of May and because it is a flat, fast course," Klinger told PIM. "I have to
run in 2:48. That's not very fast compared to the top athletes, but as
Liechtenstein is one of the smallest countries in the world, we get to send
one or two athletes to the Olympics. I've never been to the Olympics -- it
would be a dream come true for me!"
The men's field also features several elite runners vying to qualifying for
Beijing. They include Russia's Lenar Khusnustdinov, Britain's Kassa
Tadesse, Australia's Philip Sly, the Italian Vito Sardella, and
Kyrgyzstan's Valerij Pisarev. All will be need to hit a time well under
2:18, with Khusnustdinov facing the toughest task. He needs to run in at
least 2:13:16 to make Russia's Olympic team.
Among Czech runners, Pavel Novak and Veronika Brychcinova will be hoping to
book tickets to China as well. But they will need to run in 2:15 and 2:37,
respectively, to meet the Olympic time limits set by the Czech Athletics
Whose Olympic dreams will come true? The Volkswagen Prague International
Marathon will decide.