The winner is Juan-Carlos Betancur of Colombia

Juan-Carlos Betancur of Colombia became the first man to successfully defend

the inline section of the real,- BERLIN-MARATHON on Saturday afternoon, when he

wheeled to a narrow victory in 62min 05sec.

In this last round of the World Cup, Betancur was always in contention in a

huge pack of fifty which stayed together until the last kilometre down the

Unter den Linden, with the finish in front of the Brandenburg Gate.

Betancur edged his Saab Salomon colleague Massimilano Presti of Italy, whose

second place underlined a comeback after a collision with a car last year put

him in hospital for two weeks. Third was another Colombian Diego Rosero of the

Hyper Race team, who is reigning long distance world champion.

The women's race was a clean sweep for the US trio of Julie Glass,

Jessica Smith and Teresa Cliff of Verducci International. Glass won in another

tight finish, in 71min 20sec. The Berlin Marathon has grown so much in the last

five years, since the first of three world bests on the course, set by Ronaldo

da Costa of Brazil in 1998, that is has become a much sought event by both

runners and inliners.

With a record 11,000+ entries, the biggest worldwide for an inline event

linked with an international marathon, the skaters were split off for the first

time, hence this prologue to Sunday morning's footrace, with a potential

field of 35,000 runners, and big favourite Paul Tergat of Kenya expected to

break the world record of 2.05.38, set by Khalid Khannouchi of the USA in

London 2002.