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European Athletics - 2008 in Review: Women's ...

2009-01-06  苍穹之泪
2008 in Review: Women's Road Running & Race Walking Print
04.01.2009
radcliffe_bj.jpg
Paula Radcliffe finished the year on a high winning
the New York Marathon with the season's best
timing. 

Paula Radcliffe (GBR) and whether she could make it to the Olympics in good form was again the talk of the season. The Briton had missed the Osaka World Championships in 2007 after giving birth to her first child in January 2007, but in 2008 she battled again, albeit with injuries.

Radcliffe did compete in her third Olympics, but her fate was the same this time too: no medal with a 2:32:38 marathon finish and 23rd place in the competition. She did come back to win her second successive New York Marathon in November clocking a 2:23:56 season's best there.

Indeed there was a European victory in Beijing in the marathon, but it came from a very surprising source. 38-year-old Constantina Tomescu (ROU) hadn't exactly showed any promise for an Olympic gold in her two 2008 marathon races in the run up to the Beijing Games. She finished 9th in Osaka (2:28:15) and 8th in London (2:27:45), but her Beijing performance put a rest to all speculations.

Tomescu ran away from the leading pack including silver medalist Catherine Ndebera (KEN) and Zhou Chunxiu (CHN) to record a clear victory in the end clocking 2:26:44 season's best for the win. In late September Irina Mikitenko (GER), who had missed the Beijing Games, ran a world leading 2:19:19 national record to win the Berlin Marathon and become the second European under 2:20 in the marathon. Mikitenko's mark is the second best on the European all time list only preceded by Paula Radliffe's world record 2:15:25.

Women's walking season began in the usual ways with the Russian Winter Championships in February. The best five times of the season in the world were achieved in this race where 23-year-old Olga Kaniskina, the reigning World champion from Osaka 2007, walked to a 1:25:11 personal best, under the standing world record, but the world record application was not submitted.

Just 19-year-old Anisya Kirdyapkina walked the best ever junior result 1:25:30 in the same race with Tatyana Shemyakina who also clocked under 1:26 with her third place finishing time 1:25:46. Kaniskina assumed her position as the leading female walker last year and didn't surrender her place this season either. Kaniskina, who has won her last five 20km races, also won the World Cup in an another fast 1:25:42 time with Tatyana Sibileva (RUS) getting the second place in 1:26:29.

In Beijing, Kaniskina was determined and left the others no chance notching a clear win in 1:26:31 with the Olympic gold being her reward for a perfect season. Norwegian veteran, 36-year-old Kjersti Tysse Plätzer (NOR) capped another fine year with a national record 1:27:07 and a silver medal with the third medal also going to Europe as Elisa Rigaudo edged Chinese Liu Hong for the bronze medal times being 1:27:12 and 1:27:17 respectively.

kaniskina_olga_olympics.jpg
Olga Kaniskina of Russia claimed the 20km Walk
gold in Beijing.
Maria Vasco (ESP) set a national record for fifth in 1:27:25 with countrywoman Beatriz Pascual in sixth (1:27:44) and Olive Loughnane (IRL) seventh in 1:27:45. Almost a perfect day by Europeans was furthermore compeleted by two more national records with Ana Cabecinha (POR 8th 1:27:46) and reigning Olympic champion Athanasia Tsoumeleka (GRE 9th 1:27:54).

Notable stats:
Marathon

New entries for the European alltime list:

2nd 2:19:19 Irina Mikitenko GER
18th 2:24:14 Irina Timofeyeva RUS
24th 2:25:03 Mara Yamauchi GBR
28th 2:25:12 Lyubov Morgunova RUS

Career head to head between Europe's best:

Mara Yamauchi GBR - Galina Bogomolova RUS 3-1
Paula Radcliffe GBR - Svetlana Zakharova RUS 2-2
Paula Radcliffe GBR - Mara Yamauchi GBR 2-1
Svetlana Zakharova RUS - Mara Yamauchi GBR 2-2
Constantina Tomescu ROU - Galina Bogomolova RUS 2-2
Paula Radcliffe GBR - Constantina Tomescu ROU 3-2
Constantina Tomescu ROU - Irina Timofeyeva RUS 3-2
Svetlana Zakharova RUS - Constantina Tomescu ROU 5-3
Constantina Tomescu ROU - Mara Yamauchi GBR 5-2
 
20 km walk
New entries for the European alltime list:

2nd 1:25:11 Olga Kaniskina RUS
6th 1:25:30 Ansiya Kirdyapkina RUS
7th 1:25:46 Tatyana Shemyakina RUS
11th 1:26:16 Tatyana Sibileva RUS
12th 1:26:16 Lyudmila Arkhipova RUS
15th 1:26:36 Tatyana Kalmykova RUS
8th 1:27:07 Kjersti Tysse Plätzer NOR
20th 1:27:12 Elisa Rigaudo ITA
 
2008 head to head stats between best Europeans:

Olga Kaniskina RUS - Anisya Kirdyapkina RUS 2-0
Olga Kaniskina RUS - Tatyana Shemyakina RUS 2-0
Olga Kaniskina RUS - Tatyana Sibileva RUS 3-0
Olga Kaniskina RUS - Elisa Rigaudo ITA 2-0
Olga Kaniskina RUS - Maria Vasco ESP 2-0
Anisya Kirdyapkina RUS - Tatyana Sibileva RUS 1-1
Tatyana Shemyakina RUS - Tatyana Sibileva RUS 1-1
Kjersti Tysse Plätzer NOR - Elisa Rigaudo ITA 2-0
Elisa Rigaudo ITA - Maria Vasco ESP 1-1

Career head to head between best Europeans:

Olga Kaniskina RUS - Anisya Kirdyapkina RUS 3-0
Olga Kaniskina RUS - Tatyana Shemyakina RUS 4-0
Olga Kaniskina RUS - Tatyana Sibileva RUS 7-1
Olga Kaniskina RUS - Kjersti Tysse Plätzer NOR 4-0
Olga Kaniskina RUS - Elisa Rigaudo ITA 6-0
Olga Kaniskina RUS - Maria Vasco ESP 5-0
Anisya Kirdyapkina RUS - Tatyana Sibileva RUS 2-1
Tatyana Shemyakina RUS - Tatyana Sibileva RUS 2-2
Kjersti Tysse Plätzer NOR - Tatyana Sibileva RUS 2-1
Kjersti Tysse Plätzer NOR - Elisa Rigaudo ITA 7-5
Kjersti Tysse Plätzer NOR - Maria Vasco ESP 7-5
Elisa Rigaudo ITA - Maria Vasco ESP 10-7

 

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