Leading Spanish runners to challenge for Berlin 2018 selection in Seville

Javier Guerra
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Javier Guerra will be looking for both the Spanish title and a place on the team for the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships in the Zurich Maraton de Seville on Sunday

Some 13,000 runners will toe the start-line inside the Estadio de La Cartuja for the 34th edition of the Zurich Maraton de Sevilla, a five-star certified road race by European Athletics Running for All, on Sunday (25). 

More than 3000 runners will be travelling to Seville from abroad in search of fast times on one of the fastest and flattest courses in Europe. With an almost unnoticeable elevation of 10 metres from start to finish, the Spanish Championships will be held in conjunction with the Seville Marathon with a strong domestic contingent not only looking for the national title but fast times as well.

The event offers direct qualification to the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships to the top four male and female Spanish finishers, provided they achieve the qualifying standard.

The standout name on the men’s side is 34-year-old Javier Guerra, who finished fourth at the 2014 European Championships in Zurich. Guerra set a half marathon lifetime best of 61:38 in Granollers last month and could challenge his best marathon time of 2:09:33.

Other top Spanish names in the men’s field include former European 5000m champion Jesus Espana (2:11:58 PB) and Ivan Fernandez (2:12:55 PB) in a line-up led by Kenyans Stephen Tum (2:06:35 PB), Laban Mutai (2:08:03 PB) and Kipkemoi Kipsang (2:08:23 PB).

With reigning two-time champion Paula Gonzalez not defending her title, the leading home favourite in the women’s race is 35-year-old Marta Esteban (2:30:47 PB) who finished 21st at the IAAF World Championships in London last summer.

The field also includes Ethiopia’s Adugna Sechale Dalasa (2:26:27 PB) and Portugal’s Filomena Costa, who won this race in 2015 in a 2:28:00 PB. 

Now in its 34th year, the marathon route takes in many of the city’s most well-known monuments such as the Giralda - the third largest cathedral in the world - the Real Maestranza bullring, the Archivo de Indias and the Royal Palace. 

The runners will also take in some principal sites in the newer part of the city such as La Cartuja (the site of the 1992 World Exposition) before returning to the Estadio de La Cartuja which famously hosted the 1999 World Championships.

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