RRW: Team Birell wins the Prague Battle of the Teams marathon
By David Monti, @ d9monti
(c) Weekly Race Results 2021, all rights reserved
(May 30th) – With 7152 points, the Birell team won the first Prague Battle of the Teams marathon in the Czech capital this morning. Individual wins went to Kenyans Benson Kipruto (Team Birell / adidas) in 2:10:15 and Purity Rionoripo (Team Volkswagen / adidas) in 2:20:14.
Rionoripo had the most impressive run. She took a huge leap before the 25km mark to break the race and was never challenged. Her grade was the third fastest time in the world this year and a personal best. Second place went to Ethiopian Guteni Shone (Team Birell / adidas) in 2:21:46 and third to Kenya’s Valary Aiyabei (Team Mattoni / adidas) in 2:22:39.
Article further under player
Further down two Czech athletes qualified for the Olympic Games in Tokyo. The marathon bronze medalist of the European Athletics Championships 2018, Eva Vrabcova (Team Mattoni / adidas), drove 2:27:07 a.m. and was well below the 2:29:30 a.m. that she needed for qualification. Moira Stewartova fell below the qualifying mark by just three seconds and ran 2:29:27. Back on April 3rd in Belp, Switzerland, she drove 2:29:39 and missed the standard by nine seconds.
The men’s race was more conservative. A pack of five was still together for the last of 13 laps and Kipruto waited until the final 1,500 meters to take a final push and pulled away slightly to take the win. The Kenyans Dickson Chumba (Team Volkswagen / Nike) and Norbert Kigen (Team Skupina CEZ / adidas) finished second and third in 2:10:25 and 2:10:26 respectively.
“I’m very happy today,” said Kipruto in his interview after the race. “The time was fine. Today was not about time, but about victory and the teams. “
Today’s race also served as the Czech athletics marathon championship. Vrabcova and Vit Pavlista (2:18:28) won the national titles.
The full team standings, based on six runners per team using the World Athletics scoring tables, were as follows:
1. Team Birell, 7152
2. Team Volkswagen, 6887
3. Team Mattoni, 6845
4. Team Skupina CEZ, 6673