Renowned for its ultra-fast course and ideal weather conditions in December, the Valencia marathon (Spain) has lived up to its reputation. Five French men and four French women achieved the Olympic minimums in the marathon, Sunday December 3, while the race was won by Sisay Lemma for the men and Worknesh Degefa, for the women (2h15’51”).
The Ethiopian becomes the fourth best performer in history in 2h01’48” behind Kelvin Kiptum and the legends Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele. The latter finished at the foot of the podium (2h04’19”).
Aged 32, Sisay Lemma set the course record held since last year by Kenyan Kelvin Kiptum. A renowned performance because the latter, who made his remarkable debut over the distance in Valencia, is the new world record holder since this fall.
Three athletes selected in each category
The Spanish event was particularly targeted by many contenders for qualification for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. To do this, it was necessary to run in less than 2h08’10” for men and 2h26’50” for women.
In this game, the French signed a remarkable group shot (five men and four women) and confirmed a density rarely seen in the French marathon. Only three athletes will be selected for the Games in each category.
First Frenchman on Sunday, Mehdi Frère exploded his personal best by more than three minutes to complete the 42.195 kilometers in 2h05’43”, ten seconds ahead of Nicolas Navarro who has already achieved the minimum time this year. Followed by French record holder Morhad Amdouni, Felix Bour and Benjamin Choquert.
The Blues have until the end of April to achieve the minimums. Han Chahdi, 7th in the Worlds in Budapest this summer and as such a priority for the Games, plans to seek qualification during a marathon in January.
Among the French, Mekdes Woldu was for a long time largely on the basis of the French record held since 2010 by Christelle Daunay but failed by a few seconds by ing in the last kilometers. By finishing in 2h24’44”, she largely confirmed the Olympic minimums she had already achieved. Melody Julien, Manon Trapp and Fadouwa Ledhem are also selectable after their performance on Sunday.
The World with AFP