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Luke Kibet and Luminita Talpos win warm Vienna City Marathon
Luke Kibet battled the rising temperatures and took the Vienna City
Marathon with 2:10:07 this Sunday. The 24 year-old Kenyan celebrated the
biggest triumph of his career in the Austrian capital. In his marathon
debut James Mwangi clocked 2:10:27 for second place while another Kenyan,
Abel Kirui, was third with 2:10:41. Luminita Talpos (Romania) was the
women's winner with 2:32:21 in temperatures above 20 degrees Celsius at the
finish. She was ahead of Martha Markos (Ethiopia), who improved her
personal best by almost five minutes to 2:35:45. Susanne Pumper (Austria)
made the home crowd celebrate by taking third place with 2:37:55.
Organisers of the Vienna City Marathon registered a record number of 26,279
runners from 80 nations. That includes shorter races which where included
in the marathon event. About 250,000 spectators lined the streets of Vienna
to cheer on the runners.
The men's leading group passed half way in 65:37 minutes, which was slower
than originally planned. "It was getting too warm. And additionally we
watched each other", Luke Kibet later explained. He had been one of the big
favourites beforehand. In contrast to Kibet another one could not live up
to the expectations: Bernard Barmasai was starting to loose ground after 24
k. The former steeple chase world record holder, who still is the third
fastest of all times with his 7:55,72 minutes from 1997, was hoping for his
first marathon victory in Vienna. But he dropped out at 35 k. "Three
kilometres from the finish I knew that I would win the race", Luke Kibet
said, after leaving behind Abel Kirui at 37 k.
Luminita Talpos took the women's lead right from the start and was never
really challenged on her way to her first marathon victory. The 34 year-old
passed half way in 1:14:23 and already was more than a minute ahead of
Martha Markos. "I am happy to have finally won a big marathon, though I did
not quite reach the time I wanted to run. Judging the organisation of the
race this is the best one I have ever run in", said Luminita Talpos. She
will now prepare for running the World Championship's marathon in Osaka.
"We are happy with our event, though we did not quite reach the winning
times we hoped to get. But there was a superb atmosphere on the course",
said race director Wolfgang Konrad.