Mon, Nov 26, 2007 - Page 2 News List

De Gasperi, Mayr winners of annual Taipei 101 race

BIG DAY The 2007 Soochow University International Ultramarathon 24-hour race was also held yesterday, with Ryoichi Sekiya and Sumie Inagaki taking the honors

AGENCIES , TAIPEI

Italy's Marco De Gasperi, left, and Austria's Andrea Mayr show off the trophy after wining the 2007 Taipei 101 Run Up race in Taipei yesterday.

PHOTO: CHIANG YING-YING, AP

Marco De Gasperi of Italy and Andrea Mayr of Austria won yesterday's race up Taipei 101.

De Gasperi, 30, a mountain ranger in Italy, took 11 minutes and 39 seconds to run up 2,046 steps of the 508m skyscraper.

"I am excited. I think I won the title for Paul Crake who cannot attend this year's race because he was injured," De Gasperi said.

Crake, the Australian skyscraper climber and cyclist, won the event last year.

He was then paralyzed in a cycling accident last November.

Thomas Dold of Germany, runner up last year, came second again.

"I thought I was prepared and was in good shape, but still came second. However, to come second in an international race is still great," the 23-year-old Dold said.

In the women's event, Austrian skyscraper climber Andrea Mayr defended her title in a time of 12 minutes and 54 seconds, winning ahead of Australia's Suzy Walshman and Melissa Moon of New Zealand.

"I did well today because I put pressure on myself. When I return home, I will rest up and prepare for the next season's races," she said.

The winner in the men's and women's division each won NT$200,000.

Eleven foreign skyscraper runners and thousands of Taiwanese took part in the Taipei 101 Run-up.

Meanwhile, Ryoichi Sekiya and Sumie Inagaki of Japan won the men's and women's events respectively of the 2007 Soochow University International Ultramarathon 24-hour race yesterday.

Sekiya, the holder of the Asian record who also won the world championship in Canada in July, defeated his rivals to take first place by running 275.68km in 24 hours. It is the third time he has won the title since 2002.

Sekiya, 40, said he felt terrific after holding out through the grueling night, which was cold and wet, knowing that he was going to smash the record again.

France's Mohamed Magroun trailed Sekiya to claim second place in the men's event, completing 241.85km, followed by Taiwanese runner Wu Sheng-ming (吳勝銘) with 216.26km.

Inagaki, 41, won the top spot in the women's division by completing 232.92km in the endurance contest. Her performance also broke the Asian record for women.

Inagaki was followed home by Taiwanese runner Chiu Shu-jung (邱淑容) and Japanese runner Hiroko Okiyama, who finished second and third in the women's ultramarathon with 211.38km and 210.75km respectively.

Chiu said that she suffered a cramp in the back of her thighs at a certain point, but managed to finish the day-long race after adjusting her speed.

This is the seventh time that Soochow University has sponsored the event, which attracts top-notch marathon runners from around the world.

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