Guerra clocks 2:08:36 in Seville Marathon

Javier Guerra in Seville
Organisers

Javier Guerra was fourth in the Seville Marathon in a 2:08:36 PB ahead of the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships

Javier Guerra finished fourth at the 2014 European Championships in Zurich but he has his sights set on a medal after breaking his lifetime best in the Zurich Maraton de Sevilla, a race with a five-star certification from European Athletics Running for All, on Sunday (25).

Guerra, 34, finished fourth in 2:08:36 to become the first Spaniard to break the 2:09-barrier for the marathon since 2006. He only lost touch with the leaders in the closing stages with Kenya’s Dickson Kipsang crossing the finish-line inside the Estadio de La Cartuja - which staged the 1999 World Championships - in 2:08:22 ahead of teammates Laban Mutai (2:08:23) and Andrew Kimutai (2:08:32).

Next across the finish-line was Guerra, who slashed nearly one minute from his lifetime best of 2:09:33. "I passed through the tunnel Abel Anton entered at the World Championships in 1999 [where he defended his marathon title on home soil.] There was not the same crowd but the feeling was spectacular," Guerra told MARCA after the race.

"Four years ago in Zurich, I missed out on the bronze medal in the closing kilometers; Berlin is now my big goal.”

Italy’s Stefano La Rosa also set a lifetime best of 2:11:08 while veteran Jesus Espana, 39, also guaranteed himself a place on the Spanish team for the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships, finishing eighth in 2:13:24.

In the women’s race, Morocco’s Kaoutar Boulaid set a course record of 2:25:35 ahead of Ethiopians Haimanot Alemayehu (2:25:47) and Bedatu Hirpa (2:25:50). With reigning two-time champion Paula Gonzalez absent, Marta Esteban was the top Spanish finisher in seventh in 2:31:24, inside the qualifying mark for the European Championships.

An estimated 13,000 runners took part in this year’s edition of the race.

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