Champion Aiyabei disappointed as Frankfurt Marathon cancelled

Thursday, August 13th, 2020 00:00 |
Frankfurt Marathon champion Valary Aiyabei.

 Frankfurt Marathon champion Valary Aiyabei has been left disappointed after the event became the latest major marathon to fall victim to the coronavirus pandemic.

 Race organisers confirmed the cancellation of the 39th edition of the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon yesterday. Germany’s oldest city marathon was to take place on October 25th.

 Race director Jo Schindler explained: “Set against the hardship which this worldwide pandemic has inflicted on people, countries, institutions and business, the cancellation of a sports event is of minor significance.

Sport, especially my beloved sport of running, is the most beautiful triviality in the world. But it should never be allowed to endanger life.

We have not taken this step of cancellation lightly and have done our utmost to find solutions and alternatives.

Now we have to face the cold reality that cancellation is inevitable.”

 “It was largely an expected decision, but as a sportsperson I always hoped for something positive,” Ayabei told People Sport.

 “I have been training with the hope that I would return to Frankfurt, a place I cherish for having broken the course record there,” she said.

 Aiyabei set the course record in October last year stopping the clock in two hours,19 minutes and 10 seconds to smash Meskerem Assefa’s time of 2:20:36, becoming the first woman to run a sub 2:20 race in Frankfurt.

 Aiyabei’s time is the fifth fastest that season. She beat Ethiopians Megertu Alemu (2:21:00) and Meskerem Assefa (2:22:01) who came in second and third respectively.

Assefa had returned to defend her title but could not match Aiyabei’s pace.

 Meanwhile, organisers of Paris Marathon have announced the cancellation

of the event due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

 The race through the French capital, which had earlier been moved from its original date of April 5 to November 15, joins a long list of elite marathons across the world to be cancelled this year.

 “There will be great disappointment among those who have sacrificed time training for what had become an autumn marathon,” organisers said.

 “We will be working side by side with the city of Paris to put on a 2021 edition that brings together the most passionate runners on the most beautiful streets in the world.”

 “Faced with the difficulty that many runners, especially those coming from abroad, had in making themselves available for the 15th November, it was decided that it would be better and simpler for those concerned if we organised the Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris in 2021,” organisers said.

 Marathons in New York, Boston, Chicago and Berlin have been scrapped this year, while London announced that it would only hold a race for elite runners.

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