Moscow - It was a luckless day for South Africa’s Tanith Maxwell who
finished 42nd in the women's marathon on the opening day of the IAAF World
Athletics Championships in Moscow on Saturday.
Although a far cry from her preparation goal of breaking the two hours 30
minute barrier, Maxwell gave a gutsy performance to clock 2:56.37 in the heat
of the day.
“I went out a little too hard, but I think the whole field did and we paid
the price,” said Maxwell who went through 10km in 37.54, in 56th place.
“I had to re-plan in these conditions, and the fact that I wasn't recovering
from the long flight. My three training runs were dismal, so I was concerned
going into the start,”
Maxwell flew from Durban to Johannesburg then through Dubai on Tuesday,
eventually arriving at her Moscow hotel at midnight on Wednesday.
“I would normally plan five to seven days recovery for a race.
“I did my preparation and planned on 24-25 degrees and lower humidity and
just never expected this.”
The 28 degree heat and 66% humidity took its toll on many over-zealous
contenders and only 46 of the 73 starters completed the course.
Edna Kiplagat defended her title after surging away from Italy’s Valeria
Straneo to clock 2:25.44.
The Italian marathon record holder held the lead from the gun to 40km and
finished second in 2:25.58, while Japan’s Kayoko Fukushi took third in 2:27.45.
North Korea won the team gold ahead of US and Russia, with Australia the
only other country to have three finishers.