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Posted: May 3, 2009  : Add to Mixx!

Athletics: David Langat beats Wilfred Kigen, Susanne Hahn clocks personal best in Düsseldorf

David Langat took the sixth edition of the METRO Group Marathon Düsseldorf on Sunday. Clocking 2:10:46, which is the second fastest ever in the race, the Kenyan beat his fellow countryman and pre-race favourite Wilfred Kigen (2:11:30). Germany's André Pollmächer was third with a personal best of 2:13:09. As expected the women's race was a German affair. Susanne Hahn clocked a personal best of 2:29:26. Debutant Melanie Schulz (2:42:47) took second while Sonja Oberem, who had ended her career some time ago, came in third with 2:43:49. Adding other events the METRO Group Marathon Düsseldorf registered around 10.000 entries from more than 65 nations. About 400,000 spectators lined the loop course in fine weather conditions with temperatures around 15° Celsius.

29 year-old David Langat had originally been signed as a pacemaker, but had said that he would like to finish the race. "On the evening before the race I decided to go for the whole distance, because I knew that I was in shape. And additionally the weather forecast was good," explained David Langat, who earned 10,000 Euros of prize money in Düsseldorf. It was his first victory in a big marathon, but the Kenyan had been faster before. In Paris in 2006 he had placed with with a personal best of 2:08:58. "In the future I want to run in the region of 2:06 or 2:07," said David Langat.

In Düsseldorf it had looked as if much faster times were possible for most of the race. After a very fast beginning (30:12 minutes at 10 k) pacemakers guided Wilfred Kigen and David Langat through half way in 63:57. It was then Langat who kept the pace high, reaching 30 k in 1:31:09 with Kigen a step behind. While they were still well on pace to smash the course record of 2:09:47 at this stage the race then became much slower. At 36 k Wilfred Kigen was additionally slowed by a calf muscle problem and could no longer keep up with David Langat. At the end it was not quite enough to break the course record.

There was a personal record for rw_news_20090503_Dusseldorf_Langat.html, who clocked 2:13:09 for third place. This time by the 26 year-old was the fastest German marathon result since 2000! "I felt fine today and surely there is more to come next time. I want to continue to improve," said André Pollmächer, who had run in the second group from the start of the race, passing half way in 66:07 minutes. Looking ahead to his next marathon he said: "The big goal this year obviously is the World Championships' marathon in Berlin. But this will be a different race, because it will be about placings and not times." There were more good news for German male marathon runners at the METRO Group Marathon Düsseldorf, because Martin Beckmann came in sixth with a personal best of 2:13:42. Falk Cierpinski, the son of the double Olympic marathon champion Waldemar, suffered of muscle problems and had to be content with eighth in 2:17:12.

While the defending champion Melanie Kraus was forced to drop out soon after the 5 k point because of a muscle problem Susanne Hahn dominated the race and won comfortably with 2:29:26. At half way and beyond that a time of around 2:27 seemed to be possible for Susanne Hahn. "I had hoped for a better result, but at the end I was happy to have improved my personal best by seven seconds. All went well for 30 k, but then my legs became very heavy," said the 31 year-old, who won prize money of 7,000 Euros. It was the second time she achieved a sub 2:30 result and Susanne Hahn clearly beat the German qualifying standard for the World Championships in Berlin (2:32).

Results:

Men

1. David Langat KEN 2:10:46
2. Wilfred Kigen KEN 2:11:30
3. André Pollmächer GER 2:13:09
4. Edwin Kibowen KEN 2:13:16
5. Andrej Gordeev BLR 2:13:32
6. Martin Beckmann GER 2:13:42
7. Richard Mutai KEN 2:14:10
8. Falk Cierpinski GER 2:17:12

Women

1. Susanne Hahn GER 2:29:26
2. Melanie Schulz GER 2:42:47
3. Sonja Oberem GER 2:43:49

More information online at: www.metrogroup-marathon.de.

David Langat leading Wilfred Kigen in Düsseldorf . Photo credit: Victah Sailer / photorun.net


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