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Posted: May 20, 2021:  

(RRW) Athletics: Draft Completed For The Battle Of The Teams Marathon in Prague

From David Monti, @d9monti
© 2021 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved.

(19-May) -- Yesterday on broadcast television in the Czech Republic, the athlete draft for the first Battle of the Teams marathon competition was completed. Four teams of eight athletes (four men and four women per team) were selected for this unique professional team marathon scheduled for the center of Prague on Sunday, May 30. The race falls on the second to last day of the Tokyo Olympic Marathon qualification period.

Each of the four teams has a corporate sponsor in a different product category --Team Birell (beer), Team Mattoni (bottled water), Team Skupina CEZ (energy), and Team Volkswagen (automobiles)-- and each of the teams has a celebrity captain. Tennis player Petra Kvitova captains Team Mattoni, hurdler Zuzana Hejnova leads Team Volkswagen, cross country skier Katerina Neumannova leads Team Skupina CEZ, and cyclist Jiri Jezek is at the helm of Team Birell. The four captains drafted their teams yesterday via video conference (Kvitova was represented by her manager because she was playing at a tournament).

In the first round of the draft Czech athletes were selected. Not surprisingly, 2018 European Athletics Championships marathon bronze medalist and national record holder Eva Vrabcova (2:26:31 PB) was the first athlete to be drafted; she will run for Team Mattoni. Moira Stewartova (2:29:39) will represent Team Birell, Jiri Homolac (2:14:35) will run for Team Skupina CEZ, and Vit Pavlista (2:15:35) was chosen for Team Volkswagen.

In subsequent rounds, the international athletes were drafted to form the full teams. Here are the complete line-ups with personal best times:

Team Birell:
 Moira Stewartova, CZE, 2:29:39
 Wily Canchanya, PER, 2:12:57
 Samuel Wanjiku, KEN, 2:06:02
 Agness Barsosio, KEN, 2:20:59
 Benson Kipruto, KEN, 2:05:13
 Guteni Shone, ETH, 2:20:11
 Kenneth Keter, KEN, 2:07:34
 Meseret Belete, ETH, 2:24:54

Team Mattoni:
 Eva Vrabcova, CZE, 2:26:31
 Tibor Sahajda, SVK, 2:15:25
 Lencho Anbesa, ETH, 2:06:18
 Tigist Abayechew, ETH, 2:22:45
 Kinde Atanaw, ETH, 2:03:51
 Valary Aiyabei, KEN, 2:19:10
 Abel Kipchumba, KEN, 2:09:39
 Betty Lempus, KEN, 2:23:40
Team Skupina CEZ:
 Jiri Homolac, CZE, 2:14:35
 Reia Iwade, JPN, 2:23:52
 Thomas Kiplagat, KEN, 2:06:00
 Bedatu Hirpa, ETH, 2:21:32
 Filex Kiprotich, KEN, 2:05:33
 Mare Dibaba, ETH, 2:19:52
 Abdi Ibrahim, BRN, 2:08:32
 Rebeca Chesire, KEN, 2:24:25

Team Volkswagen:
 Vit Pavlista, CZE, 2:15:35
 Lilia Fisikovici, MDA, 2:27:26
 Yitayal Atnafu, ETH, 2:06:21
 Diana Kipyokei, KEN, 2:22:06
 Dickson Chumba, KEN, 2:04:32
 Purity Rionoripo, KEN, 2:20:39
 Mengistu Zelalem, ETH, 2:08:48
 Ruth Chebitok, KEN, 2:23:29

The race will be scored using the World Athletics points tables. Six athletes will be scored from each team which also has two "substitutes" who can score in case one of the scoring athletes fails to finish. The teams will be ranked by total points based on the World Athletics points assigned to their finish times. Athletes who achieve a personal best will get a ten percent points bonus, allowing slower athletes to meaningly impact the overall team scores. Because the World Athletics points tables are gender specific, men and women have an equal opportunity contributed to the team scores.

To help fans follow the action, broadcast graphics will show the number of points per team and team results will be available immediately upon the finish of the race. During the race, team standings will be displayed based on intermediate splits.

The event will have a USD 92,000 prize money purse. Forty-four thousand dollars will be allocated to team prize money and 48,000 for individuals. The winning team will be awardes USD 32,000. In addition, each team will raise money for a designated charity.

A replay of the draft program is available here:

IMAGE: Eva Vrabcova of the Czech Republic was the first athlete to be drafted for the 2021 Battle of the Teams marathon (image courtesy of RunCzech)

IMAGE: Valary Aiyabei of Kenya is the fastest woman entered in the 2021 Battle of the Teams Marathon with a personal best of 2:19:10 (image courtesy of RunCzech)

IMAGE: Kinde Atanaw of Ethiopia is the fastest man entered in the 2021 Battle of the Teams Marathon with a personal best of 2:03:51 (image courtesy of RunCzech)

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