Paris Marathon: Sunday event to attract 60,000 competitors

By AFP: Sunday, April 14th 2019 at 08:56 GMT +3 | Athletics
Paul Loyangata during a past marathon [Courtesy]

A competition among the monuments and a controversial athlete: 60,000 competitors are expected at the start of the Paris marathon Sunday morning. Among them Clemence Calvin, whose provisional suspension for evading doping control has been lifted.

"I have no reason to be afraid because I am straight and proud (...) Whistles and encouragement, I will only take the positive," assured the vice-champion of Europe marathon in 2018 on CNews Saturday.

The athlete was allowed to run after Friday's lifting of his provisional suspension by the State Council.

She was suspended Wednesday by the French Agency for Combating Doping (AFLD) for evading control March 27 in Marrakech, as her husband and coach Samir Dahmani, also a French international athlete, for obstruction of control.

Clemence Calvin and Samir Dahmani, risk for that four years of suspension.

The home of the athlete, referred in parallel by an investigation of the Marseille prosecutor's office for "infringements of legislation on doping products", was raided Friday afternoon in Martigues without "no doping product" was found, said Saturday the prosecutor of the Republic of Marseille.

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- "Whistles" and "encouragement" -

The decision of the State Council Friday "is the first victory for me and I am very happy to run and avoid the triple punishment that was imposed on me so far," she said.

In these very special conditions, Clémence Calvin became in 2018 the 2nd best French performer in history over the distance in 2h26: 28. (behind Christelle Daunay), seeks to achieve in Paris the minima for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, set at women at 2:29:30.

The organizer of the race, ASO, refused to comment on his presence, just like the president of the French Athletics Federation (FFA) André Giraud, who simply told AFP "follow what is happening to protect other athletes ".

Several other French are also looking for Olympic minima: Florian Carvalho, Morhad Amdouni, Nicolas Navarro and Benjamin Malaty hunt 2: 11.30, a time noted that none of them has never realized.

However, they should not play first place, whose logical favourite is the Kenyan Paul Lonyangata (26), already the winner in Paris in 2017 and 2018, along with the Ethiopian Asefa Mengistu (31), author of 2:04: 24. in January at the very fast Dubai marathon (3rd).

Paul Lonyangata (26), an athlete with a tortuous history - he fled his native country at age 9 due to an ethnic conflict that claimed the lives of his older sister - sets the record for Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia (2h05: 03.) Established in 2014.

In women, two Ethiopians announce themselves as favourites: Gelete Burka (33 years, record in 2h20: 45.) And the young Azmera Abreha (21 years, 2h21: 51.), In the absence of the defender of the Kenyan title Saina Betsy.

 

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