News Archive

News Archive

Jeannot ahead of Frei once again

The Sempach Wheelchair Marathon in Switzerland, a few kilometres north of

Luzern, celebrated its 10th anniversary on May 22. It was started in 1986, and

every two years it is organized, professionally and with great care, together

with the Paraplegic Foundation Clinic (Klinik der Paraplegiker-Stiftung) in the

nearby small town of Nottwil.

This year, just four months before the Paralympics, the great showdown of

the favourites from all around the world began again as an international test

for those hoping to earn medals in Athens. The field of participants included

names very familiar to the organisers of the BERLIN-MARATHON, and it was the

first “reunion” since the 30th real,- BERLIN MARATHON 2003 on

September 28, 2003 for the current best three racers, Jeol Jeannot (FRA), Heinz

Frei (SUI) and Ernst van Dyk (RSA), who this year won the legendary Boston

Marathon in a time of 1:18h, the fastest time for a wheelchair marathon ever.

It is not a new world record, however, as the course in Boston is not certified

due to its hilly course.

The race and result of the 10th Sempach Marathon was incredibly similar to

that of the 30th real,- BERLIN MARATHON 2003. Jeannot and Frei, working the

hardest in the lead group that quickly developed, took off from them as well,

and together with van Dyk passed the halfway mark as a threesome. While van Dyk

had difficulties keeping up with the tempo, both favourites continued to attack

in the hopes of finding a weak spot in their competitor, which they could use

for an early decision. Once again it was Joel Jeannot who was able to break

away at the finish, winning 22 seconds ahead of Heinz Frei.

The winner of the women’s race was Edith Hunkeler (SUI), finishing

ahead of the Canadians Diane Roy and Chantal Petitclerc, who had crashed in

Berlin. The world record holder Thomas Geierspichler (AUT) easily won the T2

competition, and Stefan Strobel from Saarbrücken won the T1.

All those mentioned will unfortunately not be present in Berlin this year,

as the Paralympic Marathon will take place in Athens one day before the race in

Berlin. This will be a good chance for young athletes to make a name for

themselves at the BERLIN MARATHON. Last but not least, it should be noted that

at the 31st real,- BERLIN MARATHON 2004 on September 26, 2004 —following

their successful premiere at the 24th Bewag BERLIN HALF MARATHON – the

hand cyclists will be at the start for the first time. Dr. Reiner Pilz