52nd WMC Marathon – Lima (PER)

 

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LIMA (PER) – After the Opening Ceremony that took place yesterday, the serious things started today for the athletes of the 52nd World Military Marathon Championship that took place along the Costa Verde beach in Lima, Peru.

 

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For this occasion, 76 athletes (28 women and 48 men) from 17 nations (Germany, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Belgium, Colombia, Ecuador, Spain, France, Guinea, Lithuania, Morocco, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Tunisia, Slovenia and Peru) had made the trip to Lima for an edition that included, as is often the case, many high-level athletes: Shumi Dechasa (BRN), winner of the CISM Military World Games of Wuhan 2019 and also winner of many international marathons, Marius Kimutai Jepki (BRN), winner of many international marathons, Mohamed Reda El-Aaraby, winner of the 10000m at the Wuhan CISM MWG, Eunice Chebichii (BRN), winner of the Wuhan CISM MWG marathon, as well as 37-year-old veteran Iwona Bernardelli (POL), winner of the marathon at the 2015 Mungyeong CISM MWG and Olympic athlete.

 

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And the least we can say is that the favorites will have assumed their status throughout the race.


In the men's race, a group of seven athletes led by Shumi Dechasa Leche (BRN), Marius Kimutai Jepki (BRN) and Mohamed Reda El-Aaraby (MAR), created a significant gap after less than 10 kilometers. It was not until the 30th kilometer that the Moroccans Hamza Sahli and Adil Oulad Lidame were dropped following the impressive pace set by the leading group. The last twelve kilometers were to be fatal to Zaghou Montacer (MAR) and Zelalem Bacha Regasa (BRN). There remained three athletes in contention for the title as the last hectometers of a colorful marathon approached, which would be played out in a sprint.

 

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And in this little game, it is the Bahraini Shumi Dechasa, already winner of the CISM Marathon in 2019, who was going to show himself the strongest by finishing in front of his compatriot Marius Kimutai Jepki for only three seconds ahead. A superb performance from the Bahraini athlete who thus wins on a complicated course in a time of 02:20:09. The Moroccan Mohamed Reda El-Aaraby finished 10 seconds behind the winner of the day and took the bronze medal. Everything was played in a handkerchief for Shumi Dechasa Leche, incredibly happy with this extraordinary performance!

 

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In the men's team competition, Bahrain also won the world military title ahead of Morocco and Poland, respectively silver and bronze medalists.

 

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The women's competition also smiled on Bahrain, and it was also remarkably close. After only ten kilometers, the three favorites of the day, namely Eunice Chebichii (BRN), Iwona Bernardelli (POL) and Shitaye Eshete Habte (BRN) were already alone with more than 2 minutes of advance on their closest pursuers. The three athletes were not going to leave each other anymore and almost covered the forty-two kilometers together. First, the Polish Iwona Bernardelli cracked and let the two Bahraini athletes fly away to the title.

 

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And as in 2019 in Wuhan, Eunice Chebichii offered herself a crazy finish to win a second world military title in a row by beating her compatriot Shitaye Eshete Habte by more than 20 seconds and allowed her country to win its third gold medal of the day. Poland's Iwona Bernardelli was satisfied with the bronze medal.

 

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The Polish women's team won the team title and managed to break the hegemony of Bahrain, second, on this championship while Lithuania finished third.

 

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The Awarding Ceremony of the 52nd WMC Marathon took place after the competition in the presence of Colonel Dirk Schwede, CISM Acting President and VP Europe, Lieutenant Colonel Walter Borghino, Official CISM Representative of the event, and Major General David Ojeda Parra, Chief of the Army General Staff and President of the Executive Organizing Committee.

 

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Colonel Dirk Schwede took the floor during this ceremony to congratulate the Peruvian Delegation to CISM for the organization of this excellent event and the competitors: “You managed to gather young people from all over the world under the CISM Motto “Friendship through Sport” to have an exchange of culture and ideas. I know it is a hard job and it is particularly important that the CISM Member Nations gives us the possibility to organize such events. That is the way CISM wants to contribute to the development of Peace around the world. Thank you very much for this excellent and outstanding organization and hopefully, we would be delighted if you would organize a competition again soon.”

 

(Source: CISM Media and Communication Department)

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