Ndereba opens Beijing medal account

August 17, 2008 12:00 am

NAIROBI, August 17- World marathon champion Catherine Ndereba gave her first medal at the 29th Olympic Games in when she won silver in the women’s marathon on Sunday morning.

The 36 year old out sprinted China’s Chunxiu Zhou in a close finish to win her second Olympic silver medal in a time of 2:27:06 having finished  second in Athens four years ago.

The medal also continued her excellent record of having finished in the top three in all but two of marathon races in her career. She has now finished in the podium in 18 out of 20 races.

Paris marathon champion Martha Komu finished fifth in 2:27:23 with Salina Kosgei coming in tenth in 2:29:28 as 38 year old Constantina Tomescu of won gold in 2:26:44.

Grouped together, the race had a slow start with the athletes wary of the heat and each other with Paula Radcliffe and her British counterpart Liz Yelling leading the race. Kosgei and Komu were in the leading pack while Ndereba was about ten metres behind the leaders.

Former London marathon champion Deena Kastor was the first big name casualty to drop out at the 5k mark after sustaining a foot injury.

At the halfway mark, Tomescu made her move at the halfway point putting in a surge opening a 32 second gap by the 25 kilometre mark. The Romanian continued her surge increasing to a minute and 20 seconds by the 30 kilometre mark.

The chasing pack which included Dire Tune, Yelling, Radcliffe and Adere realised the increasing the gap and started to push with Komu leading the pursuit.

Ndereba was still ten metres behind the pack before she started her trademark surge as the chasing began to take its toll reducing it to a group of four.

Ndereba and Komu continued their push with Komu briefly taking second place but Zhou would have none of it. Ndereba then took the battle to Zhou in the final 300 metres edging her out to win her second Olympic medal.



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