IPC World Cup race report: El Amin Chentouf wins again in London
21 April 2013
Paralympic Games 5000m champion El Amin Chentouf (Morocco) returned to London in style with victory and a T12 world record on his marathon debut in today's IPC Athletics Marathon World Cup.
The visually impaired runner - who also holds the T12 5000m world record - went off at a steady pace and passed through half way in 1:14:05, but he picked it up in the second half to cross the line in 2:24:00, beating his nearest rival by more than four minutes.
Abderrahim Zhiou of Tunisia, the London 2012 marathon bronze medallist, was second in 2:28:12, with Gabriel Macchi (Portugal) third in 2:37:23, a new lifetime best.
Spain's Maria Carman Paredes Garcia was the first woman home in the T11/12 event in 3:17:10, while London-based Tim Prendergast (New Zealand), who has only five per cent vision and competed alone in the men's T13 category, clocked an impressive 2:48:34 on his debut.
In the T44/46 category, Italy's Alessandro di Lello, who was eighth in the London 2012 Paralympic marathon, took victory in 2:32:06 ahead of Jose Antonio Castilla (Spain) in 2:38:06 and Ozivam Bonfim (Brazil) in 2:39:23, who finished in second and third place respectively.
Britain's Paralympic 200m champion and world-record holder Richard Whitehead thrilled the noisy London crowds on his way to winning the T42 race in 3:15:53.
It was some way off his quick 2:42:54 best, but a solid performance in his new career as a track specialist.
"I'm getting older," he said in the pre-race press conference. "I don't think I'll go back to the marathon full time due to my commitment to British Athletics in the 200m. I'll continue to support marathon running, but I'd definitely say I'm a track specialist at the moment.
"I enjoy the marathon and value its place in the athletics calendar. This new IPC event is a big step forward and it really brings marathon running into the competitive athletics programme. Hopefully it'll show that we're about elite performance.
"I love the event and marathon running has opened a lot of doors for me. I've run in some great cities and after my Paralympics experience last year it's an opportunity to get back out there in our capital and say ‘Thank you' for the amazing support I got at the London 2012 Games."