Gonzalez ensures back-to-back titles in Seville

Gonzalez ensures back-to-back titles in Seville
European Athletics

Spain's Paula Gonzalez retained her women's title at the Zurich Maraton de Sevilla in a brilliant time of 2:28:54.

Paula Gonzalez was only the sixth fastest entrant for the elite women’s race at the Zurich Maraton de Sevilla but the reigning champion used her prior knowledge of the course and home support to her advantage to defend her title on Sunday.

The Zurich Maraton de Sevilla first took place in 1985 and has been certified as a 5-star Quality Road Race by European Athletics Running for All.

Gonzalez sealed her place on the Spanish Olympic team for Rio last year, winning on her debut in 2:31:18 but the 31-year-old was forced to miss what would have been her Olympic debut due to injury.

Those injuries are clearly behind her as Gonzalez ran out to a comfortable victory on her second marathon start. She stopped the clock in a lifetime best of 2:28:54, winning by nearly two minutes ahead of Kenya’s Pauline Wanjiru (2:30:49) with Ethiopia’s Bekelech Diba Bedada third in 2:31:47.

Gonzalez’s winning time was also the fastest by a Spanish woman in fifteen years and secured her qualification for the IAAF World Championships in London this August.

Brit Lily Partridge made a promising marathon debut, finishing fourth in 2:32:10, also inside the qualifying time for London.

In the men’s race, little-known Kenyan Titus Eriku raced out to a course record of 2:07:43 - a lifetime best by nearly eight minutes - on a route which is renowned for being one of the fastest in the world.

Nearly 14,000 runners from 77 countries - and five continents - registered to take part in this year’s race which famously finishes inside the La Cartuja Stadium which played host to the 1999 World Championships.

Find the full results here: http://www.zurichmaratonsevilla.es/zm2-clasificacion-2017

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