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Pinto sets course record in London

By Associated Press, 4/17/2000

he London Marathon is Antonio Pinto's race, and not even the world's fastest marathoner could stop him.

The Portuguese runner upstaged Khalid Khannouchi and won for the third time, setting a course record yesterday in the fifth-fastest marathon in history.

''I knew I was capable of this time and I knew that it would be a good preview of the Olympic marathon because of the caliber of the field,'' he said. ''I felt very strong today and knew it was going to be 2:07 or below.''

He crossed the finish line not far from Buckingham Palace in 2 hours 6 minutes 36 seconds. That was a European record and well inside his own course mark of 2:07.55. He earned $125,000 for his victory.

Kenya's Tegla Loroupe, the world's fastest female marathoner, won her division, overcoming a nagging hip injury. She was timed in 2:24.33, well ahead of Romania's Lidia Simon and defending champion Joyce Chepchumba of Kenya.

Pinto pulled away from the strongest London Marathon field ever and never looked in danger of being caught.

Defending champion Abdelkader El Mouaziz was second, almost a minute slower. Khannouchi, a Moroccan trying to become a US citizen, finished third in 2:08.36. At one point in the race, Khannouchi was running in eighth place.

Olympic champ Josia Thugwane finished in eighth place in an unofficial 2:10.29. However, his time will allow the South African a chance to defend the Olympic title he won in Atlanta four years ago.

Khannouchi set the world's best time of 2:05.42 in Chicago in October.

Pinto, who produces his own wine in Portugal, won in London in 1992 and 1997. The 34-year-old runner finished second here last year and has third-place finishes in 1995 and 1998.

Loroupe finished 13 seconds ahead of Simon, with Chepchumba timed in at 2:24.57. Loroupe made her break 3 miles from the end. She said she was worried about her ailing left hip.

''I didn't want to disclose it to other people, but I was feeling it at 15K and I lost a bit of time,'' she said. ''I tried to push in the last 7K. And although I was not exhausted, it didn't work.''

Rotterdam: Kenneth Cheruiyot, a Kenyan running in his first marathon, shook off three rivals in the last mile to win.

Spain's Ana Isabel Alonso was the women's winner in 2:35:35.

Cheruiyot was timed in 2:08.22, with Francisco Javier Cortes of Spain second in 2:08.30.

VanderLei Lima of Brazil took the lead a mile from the finish line but was overtaken by Cheruiyot and Cortes.

This story ran on page E12 of the Boston Globe on 4/17/2000.
© Copyright 2000 Globe Newspaper Company.

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