|Kara Goucher and Paula Radcliffe enjoying their maternity|
Men’sHowever, this spring, things have improved considerably. London Marathon, especially, rose to heights which had not been attained for years. In only her second try at the
Marathon discipline is in its most exciting moment ever. Since 2008 we have seen an amazing succession of performances cracking the 2:07 and the 2:06 barriers, mainly by Kenyan and Ethiopian aces, increasingly closer to Haile Gebrselassie’s world record. We could also watch a thrilling race in , where Sammy Wanjiru improved the previous Olympic record by three minutes, achieving an unbelievable 2:06:32, under the heat. And... what about the girls? Well, the favourites ran so conservatively the Olympic final, that eventually they could not catch Constantina Dita, who at 38 years of age obtained the gold medal reward to the only brave strategy in the race. With Paula Radcliffe absent because of maternity leave and injuries, no woman seemed to be mentally able to assume the leader role in the event. On the other hand, while Geb’s 2:03:59, though hard, could be reasonably be targeted by a privileged handful of men, and it pushed them to excellent timings, the Briton’s 2:15:25 record did not seemingly belong to this world. No one dared to give it a go, because it was just out of reach for anybody in the field. In post Olympic years 2009 and 2010, there were no marks under 2:20, and standards in general remained stuck. Beijing
We must realize most of the girls we have seen performing brilliantly this year are rising athletes or new to the marathon, and time is needed to acquire experience before performing your best. Paula Radcliffe, Catherine Ndereba, Lornah Kiplagat, Constantina Dita, Lidia Simon, Irina Mikitenko, Gete Wami, Berhane Adere, Naoko Nakahashi, Reiko Tosa, Kiyoko Shimahara, Svetlana Zakharova, Irina Timofeyeva, Lidiya Grigoriyeva, Deena Kastor… are too loaded in years. Some of them have retired and the others are unlikely to keep fighting for the medals in the next major championships. Other athletes have started taking over after Beijing Olympics and now we are seeing the results as they become more and more consistent.
|Teyba Erkesso, Dire Tune and Korene Jelila Yal at 2010 Boston Marathon |
http://newshopper.sulekha.com Associated Press
Since 2009 Ethiopian women have won many of well known classic marathons. Teyba Erkesso triumphed in Houston and Boston; Atsede Baysa two times in Paris; Firehiwot Dado thrice in a row in Rome; Amane Gobena and Robe Guta have taken several Asian 42,195 km races; Bizunesh Deba seven US marathons, including a last one in Los Angeles; Bezunesh Bekele, Daska and Mergia have been successive winners in Dubai; Habtamu and Aberu Kebede in Berlin, being the latter also a sensational victor in Rotterdam in 2010.