Ayad Lamdassem rolled back the years to break the long-standing Spanish record in the Valencia Marathon on Sunday (6), leading five Spaniards under the 2:10-barrier on home soil.
Now 39, Lamdassem has been on the fringes of the Spanish national team in recent years but he is now a shoo-in for Olympic selection for a third time after finishing 12th in a national record of 2:06:35, eclipsing Julio Rey’s previous record of 2:06:52 from the Hamburg Marathon in 2006. He also moves to sixth on the European all-time list, surpassing the likes of former European record-holders Antonio Pinto from Portugal and France’s Benoit Zwierzchlewski.
Lamdassem’s lifetime best prior to yesterday’s race stood at 2:09:28 from the 2013 London Marathon. His aim was to simply eclipse the 2:09-barrier but the veteran far exceeded his pre-race expectations but a first-half split of 63:10 set him up nicely for an even faster time.
“I came to improve my personal best seven years later but in the end I broke the record and I am very happy. With age I have a lot of experience, I take good care of myself and you know how to improve your technique. I came here to drop below 2.09, but after passing through halfway I knew it was my day. I’m very happy,” said Lamdassem as reported by Marca.
Hamid Ben Daoud was the second Spaniard home in 14th in 2:07:03 followed by world tenth-placer Daniel Mateo who finished 18th in 2:08:22. Yago Rojo and Camilo Santiago also ducked inside the 2:10-barrier, clocking 2:09:56 to finish 28th and 29th respectively.
The German record also fell to Amanal Petros in just the second marathon of his career. Petros finished 16th in 2:07:18 to slash more than one minute from Arne Gabius’ previous record of 2:08:33.
Petros’ main objective was to secure the Olympic qualifying standard of 2:11:30 but the former European U23 10,000m silver medallist ended up getting dragged to a significantly faster time.
“We actually planned a half marathon split of around 65 minutes. Then I wanted to pick it up the last ten kilometres but I couldn’t find the right pacemaker for this group after the start. I then just kept running with another group because I felt good,” he told Leichtathletik.de after the race.
His teammate Richard Ringer also achieved the Olympic qualifying standard on his debut at the distance. He finished 36th in 2:10:56.
Other top European performances came from Dutch record-holder Abdi Nageeye who finished 15th in 2:07:09 while European record-holder Kaan Kigen Ozbilen from Turkey faded to 19th in 2:08:50. Mehdi Frere was the top French finisher in 20th in 2:08:55.
In total, 41 athletes ducked under the Olympic qualifying standard of 2:11:30 including 18 European athletes.
In the women’s race, Carolina Wikstrom was the best European finisher in 11th in 2:26:37. Germany’s Deborah Schoneborn was 12th on her debut in 2:26:52 with Marta Galimany the top Spaniard in 13th in 2:27:07.