Abeylegesse has a double on her mind

Abeylegesse has a double on her mind
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Turkey’s Evlan Abeylegesse thought she had done enough to finish on the podium at the European Athletics Championships in Zurich, but just lost out during the final stages of the marathon and eventually came in fifth.

The marathon at this summer’s European Athletics Championships in Zurich was one of the toughest races in years - featuring a steep climb to one of the highest points in the city that the runners had to make on four occasions.

But if that was one challenge that Turkey’s Evlan Abeylegesse took in her stride, she is now preparing for another one over the 26.2 miles.

The Turkish distance runner has plans to compete in two marathons in three months as she maintains her progress at the event.

In November she will return to the Istanbul Marathon, where she made her debut at the distance 12 months ago, and then in January she will head to the Dubai Marathon.

Abeylegesse, 32, has made a good start to life on the roads and now she will look to bring her time down more.

In Zurich, as France’s Christelle Duanay won in a championship record time of 2:25:14, Abeylegesse was fifth in 2:29:46.

A double gold medallist on the track at the European Athletics Championships with her 5000m and 10,000m triumphs in Barcelona in 2010 - she also won 5000m bronze in Gothenburg in 2006.

At 32, Abeylegesse’s peak might be years away as Daunay triumphed in Zurich at the age of 39 while second behind her was Italy’s Valerie Straneo who is 38.

Last summer, Straneo also won silver at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow.

Staying with the marathon, next year’s 35th staging of the Rotterdam race is expecting 40,000 participants and across the Netherlands, the Amsterdam Marathon is one of two big 26.2-mile events in Europe on Sunday along with the Dresden Marathon.