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Paula Radcliffe and Hendrik Ramaala win New York City Marathon


After Olympic disaster had struck twice Paula Radcliffe now staged a major comeback in the New York City Marathon. The British world marathon record holder (2:15:25) won the race in 2:23:10. After a dramatic sprint finish she was just four seconds ahead of Kenyan Susan Chepkemei. It was the closest women’s finish in the 35 year history of the race. South Africa’s Hendrik Ramaala won the men’s race in 2:09:28. Meb Keflezighi (US) was second in 2:09:53 and Timothy Cherigat (Kenya) took third with 2:10:00. A record number of 37,257 runners started in the 35th New York City Marathon, which was watched by two million spectators.

„It was very important for me to come here and win“, Paula Radcliffe explained. She had been the big favourite in the Olympic Marathon in August but experienced a break down in extreme weather conditions. Five days later she was also unable to finish the Olympic 10,000 metres final. “Now I feel good”, Paula Radcliffe said after winning in New York in her typical running style. She had set the pace of the leading group throughout the race. “I was quite optimistic that I would be able to beat Susan at the end. And it helped me that she was running with me for all the time. I know her very well”, Paula Radcliffe explained. It had been Radcliffe’s first New York Marathon. The 30 year-old earned $ 140,000 plus a Smart car.

In the men’s race South African Hendrik Ramaala won a thrilling race against the Olympic silver medallist Meb Keflezighi and Kenya’s Boston Marathon winner Timothy Cherigat. Cherigat belongs to the international group of runners of German coach Dieter Hogen. It was about five kilometres from the finish when Ramaala broke away from the other two. “I have been waiting for a win like this for a couple of years”, Ramaala explained. But at the moment of his greatest success he ran into the wrong finishing channel and because of this missed the tape. “I simply did not see it”, Ramaala explained later on. He earned $ 130,000 plus a Smart car in New York. So the New York City Marathon produced two winners who have both dropped out at the Olympics. It was not only Radcliffe but also Ramaala who did not make it in Athens.

“I felt fine throughout the race. But I left it late with my decisive attack because I knew that Keflezighi and Cherigat are both very strong athletes”, Ramaala explained. “I was getting tired and could not respond in the end”, Timothy Cherigat said.

1. Hendrick Ramaala (RSA) 2:09:28,
2. Meb Keflezighi (USA) 2:09:53,
3. Timothy Cherigat (KEN) 2:10:00,
4. Patrick Tambwe (FRA) 2:10:11,
5. Benson Cherono (FRA) 2:11:23,
6. Christopher Cheboiboch (KEN) 2:12:34,
7. John Kagwe (KEN) 2:12:35,
8. Paul Kirui (KEN) 2:14:04,
9. Ryan Shay (USA) 2:14:08,
10.Ottavio Andriani (ITA) 2:14:51

1. Paula Radcliffe (GBR) 2:23:10,
2. Susan Chepkemei (KEN) 2:23:14,
3. Lyubov Denisova (RUS) 2:25:18,
4. Margaret Okayo (KEN) 2:26:31,
5. Jelena Prokopcuka (LAT) 2:26:51,
6. Luminita Zaituc (GER) 2:28:15,
7. Lornah Kiplagat (KEN) 2:28:21,
8. Larisa Zousko (RUS) 2:29:32,
9. Madai Perez (MEX) 2:29:57,
10.Kerryn McCann (AUS) 2:32:06

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