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News Archive

25 k race in Berlin:

For the first time in its history Berlin’s traditional 25 k race has the

same winners as the year before. The 2001 champions from Kenya, Rodgers Rop and

Magdaline Chemjor, came back and won again. While the recent Boston Marathon

champion Rop decided the race with a strong sprint finish, Magdaline Chemjor

reached the finish line without any opponents near her. In a tactical race the

26-year-old Rodgers Rop clocked 1:15:48, beating Wilson Onsare (Kenya) by just

one second. Magdaline Chemjor ran 1:26:15, which was 64 seconds slower than

last year. In very good running conditions with no wind an temperatures between

12 and 16° Celsius 5,585 runners took part in the event, which in 1981 was

Germany’s first big city road race. Another 1,750 inline skaters and

children also took part in the 22nd edition of the “25 km von

Berlin”.

Although the loop course drops considerably for the first few miles, split

times were far not as fast as in former years. After starting in front of the

Olympic Stadium and passing through Brandenburg Gate later the first group

reached the 10 k point after 30:15 minutes. Rodgers Rop was partly running

right at the end of the group with up to 15 runners. “I had some problems

in the first part of the race, because my muscles were tight. It took a while

until it got better”, Rop said. The day before his manager Volker Wagner

had said: “Don’t expect too much of Rodger, because the Boston

Marathon is just three weeks ago. Normally he would not have started in the 25

k race, but being the winner from last year we decided he should give it a try.

If the pace is not too fast he should be okay for 25 k.” The manager, who

was in Brussels for the IAAF’s World Half Marathon Championships, was

right.

The slow pace suited Rodgers Rop. And when Wilson Onsare sped up after about

17 k Rodgers Rop was ready and followed his countryman. The other six

contenders of the elite group could not match their pace. “When we passed

the half marathon point I knew I would win, because I realised that Wilson was

breathing heavily”, Rodgers Rop said. Still for the spectators it looked

absolutely close when the two where running next to each other towards the

finish line. Onsare even seemed to get ahead of Rop, but during the last 50

metres Rop passed him in a convincing style of a champion.

A year ago Rodgers Rop had won the event in a world best time of 1:13:44

hours which still stands. It was only weeks after the policeman from Kapsaid

had left Kenya for races for the first time in his life. “He came to

train with some other runners I manage. So they told me, that there is a good

new runner who should get the chance to get in a race in Europe”, Volker

Wagner remembered. At the end of March 2001 Rodgers Rop came to his camp in

Detmold for the first time. In autumn he ran his debut marathon in New York,

coming in third (2:09:51).

Fast times as last year were out of consideration for Rodgers Rop today.

“After winning Boston I went back to Kenya. There were celebrations and

honours for two weeks”, Rodgers Rop, who became father for the second

time just a few days after his triumph in Boston, said. So he did not start

training again until last week. “And all I did was 20 miles

altogether.” So with winning in Berlin Rop gave another example of his

great abilities. “I wanted to defend my title in Berlin. But now I will

go back to Kenya for a break.” In autumn he will probably run the New

York Marathon while being the champion there is no way not running Boston again

in 2003. Both courses not being easy one will probably have to wait for some

more time before finding out about the Rodgers Rop’s speed limits in the

marathon. “I believe that on fast course I should be able to run a

marathon between 2:06 and 2:07. May be I will come back to Berlin one day to do

it.”

In contrast to the men’s race the women’s race was a one woman

affair. After Milkah Chepkieny (Kenya) and Birhane Dagne (Great Britain) had

cancelled their starts on short notice there was no other women who could match

the pace of Magdaline Chemjor. The 23-year-old, who is coached by Brother Colm

O’Connell in Kenya, probably misjudged her pace. The course dropping in

the first part of the race she was going very fast. Between 3 and 4 k she still

had the men’s leading group well in sight, running less than 250 metres

behind. 10 k was reached by Chemjor in 32:42 minutes, a very fast pace. She was

only out of her personal best for 10 k by 35 seconds. At 15 k she timed 50:07

on her own watch – still a fast pace. But there were 10 k to go –

and quite a few were uphill. Magdaline Chemjor was struggling later in the race

and losing speed. “It was difficult running alone and uphill. But I hope

to come back next year to beat my personal best from last year”, she

said. With no real opponents around Magdaline Chemjor was more than 10 minutes

ahead at the end. It was the biggest winning margin in the history of the

“25 km von Berlin”. Valentina Delion (Moldavia) took second place

in 1:36:25. Next weekend Magdaline Chemjor will run a 10 mile race in Bern and

then continue racing in Europe until mid June.

Results, Men: 1. Rodgers Rop (KEN) 1:15:48, 2. Wilson Onsare (KEN) 1:15:49,

3. John Rono (KEN) 1:16:34, 4. Erassa Lemi (ETH) 1:16:44, 5. Mesheck Kosgei

(KEN) 1:16:48, 6. Laban Chege (KEN) 1:17:12, 7. Erastus Limo (KEN) 1:17:20, 8.

Daniel Keter (KEN) 1:17:27, 9. Moses Masai (KEN) 1:18:18, 10. Abebe Mekonen

(ETH) 1:18:55.

Women: 1. Magdaline Chemjor (KEN) 1:26:15, 2. Valentina Delion (MOL)

1:36:25, 3. Kathrin Behrens (SG Berliner Bär) 1:42:59, 4. Iris Tiedeken

(TuS Neukölln) 1:45:35, 5. Ute Wollenberg (ESV Lok Potsdam) 1:49:33, 6.

Mieke Woelky (SCC Berlin), 7. Lina Böcker (GER) 1:50:01, 8. Carole Bould

(GBR/ Spiridon Berlin) 1:50:05, 9. Anna Weidlich (DAV) 1:50:15, 10. Sonja

Pingel (LT Uelzen) 1:50:56

Skater Men: 1. Tommy Ulbrich (Powerslide Racing Team) 42:10, 2. Thomas

Langer (SCC X-Speed Team Rexton) 42:10, 3. Oliver Kornblum (SCC X-Speed Team

Rexton) 43:34, 4. Marek Szymanski (POL/ SSW Malta Poznan) 44:02, 5. Olaf Kotva

(SCC X-Speed Team Rexton) 44:25

Skater Women: 1. Tina Strüver (Turbine Halle) 44:26, 2. Doreen Gohlke

(Berliner TSC) 47:25, 3. Marleen Klaass (SV Preußen Berlin) 47:25, 4.

Claudia Rieger (SCC X-Speed Team Berlin) 47:36, 5. Kristin Höhne (SCC

X-Speed Team Berlin) 47:36.

 

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