Samson Kandie (KEN) wins Vienna Marathon (© Vienna City Marathon / Action Photo)
Kandie clocked 2:08:35 and beat the course record by 13 seconds. The previous record had been set in 2000 by Willy Cheruiyot (Kenya) who had run 2:08:48.
The 33 year-old was the only finisher with a sub 2:10 time today and it was his biggest win so far. Raymond Kipkoech (Kenya) was second in 2:10:45, Luis Jesus came in third with 2:11:24. The Portuguese missed the Olympic qualification time of his federation.
Rosaria Console showed a convincing performance and some smooth running in the wind. Finishing 2:29:22 the 24 year-old Console should be qualified for Athens Olympic Games.
Simon finished second in 2:30:40 and qualified for Athens as well. She had to run just inside 2:37:00. There was no luck for Sonja Oberem, who was third with 2:30:58. Since the German federation had asked for a time of sub 2:30 it is doubtful that she will be selected for Athens, which was supposed to be the final race of her career.
Altogether 19,785 runners took part in various events of this year’s Vienna City Marathon.
The pace was moderate in the first part of the race, when a big leading group of 14 athletes passed 10km in 30:40 minutes. But after half way (64:28) the pace was picked up by Samson Kandie. Covering the kilometres in a sub 3:00 minute speed no other runner was able to follow.
“I hoped that I could work together with Raymond Kipkoech, but he told me during the race that he had blisters,” Samson Kandie said. He earned 10,000 Euros for the win plus 5,000 Euros for the course record.
“I was surprised about the time, because it was windy. But it was my aim to win this race and I knew I would do it already after half way. This is a great marathon and without the wind I would have broken 2:08. So next year I will come back to improve my course record,” Samson Kandie said.
He just missed his personal best by four seconds. In 1999 Kandie had been third in Berlin with 2:08:31.
Curiously Kandie only entered the race last week after last year’s winner Joseph Chebet had pulled out due to an injury. Both are managed by Italy’s Dr. Rosa.
“It was no problem for Samson to get in at short notice because he had trained for a marathon at this time of the year. If he hadn’t run today he might have run in Prague next week,” Dr. Rosa’s son Federico explained.
There was a success for an Austrian athlete as well. Michael Buchleitner finished fifth in 2:12:58, just inside the national qualifying time for Athens of 2:13:00.
Console: “When I saw the entry list I never expected to win”
Rosaria Console ran an even pace throughout the race covering the first half in 1:14:28 followed by a second half 1:14:53. The best women were all running together in the first part of the race.
They passed 10km in 35:31. At the 25th kilometre (1:28:09) the race was down to Rosaria Console and Lidia Simon. The Italian then coped best with the wind, while for the 2001 World Marathon champion the later stages became difficult.
“When I saw the entries for the race I never expected to win, because there were Lidia and Sonja. But at 31km I felt pretty good and realised that I had a chance to do it. I liked this marathon very much – the organisation and the spectators were superb. I would not have made it without their support,” Rosaria Console said. She won 10,000 Euros in Vienna.
The Italian, who was fifth at the European Championships in 2002, will marry Italian marathon runner Danielle Caimmi in autumn. Caimmi is already selected for Athens. Console had run the Rome Marathon just seven weeks ago, where she finished third in 2:33:15 but that time would not have been enough for her to qualify for the Olympics. So she decided to run Vienna today.
“I will now prepare for Athens but in 2005 I plan to concentrate on 5000m and 10,000m again to gain some speed.”
Simon reveals major injury problem after comeback in 2003
“I was still suffering from a cold. But I have qualified for Athens and will now prepare for the Olympics,” Lidia Simon said.
“Lidia had a slight cramp in her calf muscle. And I think without the wind she would have been two minutes faster. So that is fine for us,” added her coach and husband Liviu Simon.
The evening before the race Liviu Simon revealed in an interview that it was an injury that had stopped his wife from performing better last year. They only found out the nature of the injury after the Chicago Marathon, in which she finished in a distant 2.40:54.
Simon, the 2001 World Marathon champion and silver medallist at the Sydney Olympics, suffered from a broken ospubis. Additionally another small bone next to the ospubis was also broken.
“Lidia had injury problems before 2003 and we had been told that after giving birth it is normal that a woman feels pain when she start running again,” Liviu Simon said.
And because Simon ran a good half marathon in Philadelphia they decided to go for the Chicago marathon.
“But during the race the pain started again. And Lidia did not want to drop out.”
After the race they consulted a specialist in Romania and a scan revealed the injury. “The result was a shock for us,” Liviu said.
For ten weeks Lidia could not train at all. She was only able to start jogging again in January.
“We went to Cancun and Hawaii to avoid the cold winter. Lidia only ran on grass for weeks because she had to be careful,” her husband explained.
Her physiotherapist Constantin Danisel accompanied her during all these weeks. It was not until the end of March that the injury fully healed. “And it was from then on that she could train 100 percent again.”
As far as Athens Olympics are concerned, Liviu Simon is optimistic. And putting behind the injury problems Lidia Simon said after her race in Vienna.
“I want to run as fast as in former years but I have to admit that the baby is more important to me than the Olympic gold.”
1. Samson Kandie Kenya 2:08:35
2. Raymond Kipkoech Kenya 2:10:45
3. Luis Jesus Portugal 2:11:24
4. Artur Osman Poland 2:12:48
5. Michael Buchleitner Austria 2:12:58
6. Patrick Chumba Kenya 2:13:08
7. Elijah Mulandiro Kenya 2:13:55
8. Piotr Gladki Poland 2:14:28
9. Mykola Rudyk Ukraine 2:15:00
10. Josphat Rop Kenia 2:15:08
11. Moses Tanui Kenia 2:15:09
1. Rosaria Console Italy 2:29:22
2. Lidia Simon Romania 2:30:40
3. Sonja Oberem Germany 2:30:58
4. Eva-Maria Gradwohl Austria 2:38:04
5. Serap Aktas Turkey 2:38:43
6. Francesca Zanusso Italy 2:45:16
Jorg Wenig for the IAAF