Old Stagers, World Class Athletes, and Young Wild Ones....
Top-Athletes of the 23rd Bewag BERLINER HALFMARATHON
2003-03-31are the terms best characterising the running qualities of the 23rd Bewag BERLIN HALF MARATHON, which is drawing more and more top international runners to Berlin due to its advantageous date and well-known fast course.
Running legends, such as the former world record holders Moses Tanui and Ronaldo da Costa, can be found in the field of runners, as well as stars from the current running scene, like Rodgers Rop and Joyce Chepchumba. Last year, Rop won the marathons in Boston and New York, and with his loose running style, is one of the strongest runners today. He is known to many Berliners as the two-time winner of the 25 km race.
Joyce Chepchumba, also last years champion of the New York City Marathon and bronze medal winner at the Olympics, returns to Berlin after a one year break and has a good chance of achieving her forth victory. The strong African competition, Restitua Joseph and Lenah Cheruiyot, who placed 7th in the half marathon World Championships, could seriously endanger Chepchumbas plans. It could also come to a Turkish duel between Serap Aktas, the current record holder, and Türkan Erismis, a young 19 year-old hopeful.
Janne Holmen will be making his first big international appearance after his surprise coup at the marathon European Championships in Munich. The 25-year-old Finn, who comes from a very successful family of runners, hopes to tie into the strong running tradition of Finland, and after winning an important title, is aiming for a top international time, as well.
The department of carefree and young runners is represented by Paul Kirui, nonetheless 10th in last years World Championships, and James Kwambai. The latter was able to beat the marathon world record holder, Khalid Khannouchi, in the half marathon in San Blas this year.
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