Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Africans bracing up for 35th Paris marathon

The Paris marathon is one of the oldest marathons in history.It first edition held in 1896 just after the Athens Olympic games.After about 80 years without the event,the race started back in 1976 but it is only by 1986 that the race took another dimension with the arrival of heavyweights in the discipline especially Africans.Djibouti’s Ahmed Salah was the first African to win the race in 1984,Ethiopia’s Abebe Mekonnen followed suit in 1986 and Morocco’s Saïd Ermili (1994). Kenyans and Ethiopians have since then been topping the chart of the competition beating and creating new records.This past years,to be amongst the top,athletes have been covering a distance of 42,140 km in 2h 08’.Kenya’s Vincent Kipruto holds the record since 2009,2h 05’ 47’’ which is all time fifth world record.Statistics these past years have been encouraging as eleven athletes in 2010 ran below 2h 10’ .There will be about twenty of them who hold this record this year and with the absence of defending champion Tadese Tola, expect records to fall as Ethiopia’s Eshefu Wendimu (2h 06’46’’) and Kenyans Bernard Kipyego (2h 07’ 01’’) and Kipkoech Jackson (2h 7’30’’) are strong favourites or from the winner of the Milan marathon Jafred Chirchir (2h 08’10’’).