Marilson Gomes dos Santos of Brazil ended the African men's decade-long hold on the New York City Marathon title with a stunning debut and Jelena Prokopcuka of Latvia successfully defended her title on Sunday.
Gomes broke away from the lead pack in the last quarter of the race and held off an all-star field of challengers to become the first South American to win the race, man or woman. Gomes finished in 2:09:58.
"It wasn't a surprise, to win a marathon you have to have courage and today I had courage," Gomes said through an interpreter. "I pushed the pace to get less people in the [lead] group. I kept pushing and they kept staying behind."
Prokopcuka sped away early and ran alone at the end, becoming the first woman in more than a decade to win two straight titles in New York. She won in 2:25:05 and wondered why no one chased her.
And marathon rookie Lance Armstrong thrilled the crowds in what he called "without a doubt the hardest physical thing I have ever done."
Armstrong crossed the finish line in 2:59:36 seconds, barely meeting his goal of breaking three hours. The seven-time Tour de France champion struggled at times, but -- as he has so many times on his bicycle in the Alps -- found enough energy to meet the challenge.
He was battling shin splints and had never before run longer than 26km.
"I didn't train enough for a marathon," he said, his right shin heavily taped as he shuffled into a post-race news conference. "In 20 years of pro sports and endurance sports, even the worst days on the Tour, nothing felt like that or left me the way I feel now."
In the final mile, as the race headed back into Central Park, Gomes surrendered about half the 30-second margin he had built over the Kenyans. He glanced over his shoulder several times, at one point doing a double-take when he saw a figure right behind him. But it was a woman runner, who had started a half-hour before the men.
The women's race became little more than a coronation after Prokopcuka made her bold move away from the lead pack, crushing the hopes of Deena Kastor, who was favored to become the first US woman to win the race since 1977.
Chen Jifang hits the gym for at least two hours every day and has the physique to prove it. At nearly 70, she is being held up as a shining example as China orders its vast population to get fit and lose the bulge. The grandmother from Shanghai has become a minor celebrity in in the past few months after her newfound and unlikely love for working out made national headlines. After becoming a gym regular in December 2018, Chen lost 14kg in three months, and now sports the kind of flat stomach and toned muscles that people decades younger aspire to. She
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
ANOTHER SCANDAL: Searches focused on several riders, including Dayer Quintana, a source said, while the two being held were reportedly a doctor and physiotherapist French police on Monday detained two people as part of an investigation into suspected doping in the Arkea-Samsic team at this year’s Tour de France, prosecutors announced. The probe is the first significant one in several years for the repeatedly scandal-hit tour, which on Sunday wrapped up in Paris with a victory for 21-year-old Tadej Pogacar, who became the youngest winner in more than a century. Prosecutor Dominique Laurens in Marseille said in a statement that an investigation was being carried out into a “small part” of France-based Arkea-Samsic, without specifying who had been placed in custody. Laurens added that the two