the sensational marathon triumph of the German Ulrike Maisch, there was no such
surprise in the men’s marathon race for gold one day later. On Sunday the big
favourite won: Italian Stefano Baldini took the gold medal in 2:11:32 hours. The
35 year-old is now European Champion for the second time after 1998. It was a different
story for the silver medal, since the Swiss Viktor Röthlin won it totally unexpected
in 2:11:50 ahead of Spaniard Julio Rey (2:12:37).
was perfect for me on that day. It wasn’t easy to run with the head wind and
the course wasn’t easy as well,” said Stefano Baldini, who was Olympic Marathon
Champion two years ago in Athens. The Italian, who had opened a running shop
where his Olympic gold medal is shown, already thinks about the Olympic Games
in Beijing 2008. „Step by step I am planning for the Olympics 2008 because I
want to defend my title there. This victory today was an important success for
my career,” said Stefano Baldini. His victory today was almost an easy one for
him. Although the men’s race had a better standard than the women’s the day
before this European marathon still doesn’t have the quality of an Olympic or
World Championships’ race at all. Also the fall marathons like Berlin, Chicago or
New York will have a better standard because they will feature the strong
decide later together with my coach if I will run a fall marathon,” said
Stefano Baldini, who already won two bronze medals at world championships but
wasn’t able yet to win a World Marathon Majors race in either Boston, London,
Berlin, Chicago or New York. Due to regeneration the only possible fall race
would bet he New York City Marathon on November 5th.
In a slow
European championships marathon half way was passed in 65:44 minutes. The Portuguese, Italians and Spaniards ruled
the scene in the lead – just Viktor Röthlin and the Finnish titleholder Janne
Holmen, who finished seventh in 2:13:10 hours, were not from these countries of
the 11 runners strong leading group.
race a duel in the deal developed between Baldini and Röthlin. „As the pace
slowed down a bit I attacked at the 40 k mark,“ said Stefano Baldini. „I
haven’t lost a gold medal here but won a silver,“ said Viktor Röthlin. The 31
year-old Swiss celebrated with his silver medal in Gothenburg his biggest
success of his career. „It is unbelievable – I dreamt about winning silver the
night before.“ A dream has come true for Viktor Röthlin.