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22nd Vienna City Marathon:
Shami and Barsosio win while warm weather slows runners
In very warm temperatures of more than 25° Celsius at the end of the race
Mubbarak Shami (Qatar) and Florence Barsosio (Kenya) won the 22nd edition
of the Vienna City Marathon. Shami, who switched nationality from Kenya to
Qatar a year ago, clocked 2.12.20 in his debut marathon. He was formerly
known as Richard Yatich. Japhet Kosgei (Kenya) was second with 2.15.15
while Henry Serem (Kenya/2.15.26) finished third.
Florence Barsosio won with a big margin of more than eight minutes. She
clocked 2.31.40 while Eva-Maria Gradwohl (Austria) was second with 2.39.44.
Ilona Barvanova (Ukraine/2.47.04) took third place. Both winners earned
10,000 Euros of prize money. About 21,500 runners took part in various
races of the Vienna City Marathon, which was once more the biggest sporting
event in the summer season in Austria. An estimated 250,000 spectators
lined the streets in the city centre.
"Hot conditions made it difficult for the runners today. Taking this into
account we can be happy with the race. A newcomer has beaten a number of
experienced runners," Vienna’s elite race director Mark Milde said.
It had been warmer than expected already in the morning of the race. At the
start temperatures had reached about 20° C. It continued to warm up, which
slowed the race. "In cooler conditions I could have run 2.09 today,"
Mubbarak Shami said. "But I felt very strong and did not fear running alone
for a large part of the race." After Shami had passed half way in 65.21
minutes he increased the pace. At first Japhet Kosgei and Degene Regassa
Nigusse (Ethiopia) held on but when Shami ran some sub three minute splits
between 25 and 30 k he was soon alone at front. Beyond 35 k Shami slowed
but was in no danger of being caught again. The next race of the 24
year-old winner will be the World Championships' marathon in Helsinki for
which he qualified in Vienna.
There were a number of prominent athletes who dropped out in the hot
temperatures. Last year’s winner and course record holder Samson Kandie
(Kenya/2.08.35) had been in the group chasing Shami but stopped at about 35
k. Vincent Kipsos (Kenya), the fastest man in the field with a PB of
2.06.52, and Boniface Usisivu (Kenya) dropped out as well. And the 1996
Olympic Champion Josia Thugwane (South Africa) did not make it either to
the finish line.
"I think the heat cost me five minutes," Florence Barsosio said. The Kenyan
aimed for a time of about 2.27 although she had already run the Paris
Marathon in April, where she finished second. "At the end of the race I
felt very tired." The 28 year-old was running alone for most of the race
since she had no pacemakers.