Wednesday, April 17

Houssame Benabbou and Mercedes Pila aspire to the marathon title in Zaragoza

Mercedes Pila celebrates her victory in the 2021 Spanish Marathon Championship in Tenerife. / @athletismoRFEA


The Ecuadorian based in Jarandilla defends her crown and the Talayuelan arrives with the second best record of the year in a Spanish Championship, also with podium options for Ricardo Rosado


Athletics from Extremadura defend their titles in the Spanish Marathon Championship that is being held this Sunday in Zaragoza. Carlos Gazapo and Mercedes Pila achieved a historic double for the region last year in Tenerife and in this edition Extremadura wants to repeat. The Ecuadorian athlete based in Jarandilla de la Vera seeks to revalidate her crown in what would be her fourth consecutive podium in the Nationals after the gold in 2021 and the bronzes in 2019 and 2020. Last year and at 42 years old, Mercedes Pila was also champion of Spain of 50 km. A month after inscribing her name in gold letters in the Spanish marathon she ran in Malaga in 2:48:12, her third personal best ever. Her main rival in Zaragoza will be Clara Simal from Madrid, who already won the title in 2017 and was runner-up in 2018.

The man from Valencia de Alcántara and current champion of Spain will be the great absentee at the start after starring in the great surprise of the last edition, but Houssame Benabbou appears as the main candidate to succeed Gazapo in the list of winners of the Spanish Marathon Championship . The Talayuelan athlete of Moroccan origin arrives in Zaragoza with the second best time of the season (2h11:38) and the best personal record (2h10:45) among those registered. Benabbou (La Nucía) faces the test in a great moment after achieving the minimum for the Munich European on February 20 at the Seville Marathon, while his personal record dates from 2019 in his debut with 42.195 km in Valencia. Banabbou is chasing his first marathon title after winning the half marathon two years in a row in 2019 and 2020. The main rival of the athlete from Talayuela is Jorge Blanco. The Leonese debuted in the marathon on November 5 in Valencia with an excellent time of 2:11:34, which places him as the Spanish leader of the season. Both have the European minimum and between them may be the direct place for the European Championship in Munich to be held from August 15 to 21.

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Ricardo Rosado is the third podium option among the Extremaduran participation. The athlete from Cáceres has a personal best of 2h11: 38 with which he stopped the clock in Valencia in 2020, although since then he has not completed a marathon again.

In addition to the titles, in Zaragoza two places for the European Championship in Munich reserved for the champions of Spain are at stake, provided that they have accredited the minimums that are 2:13:00 for men and 2:30:15 for women.

In the veterans category they appear between the registered Julio Antonio Iglesias (EA Plasencia) and Victor Cordón (Atletismo Almendralejo).

Houssame Benabbou after completing the Seville Marathon where he achieved the European minimum last February. /


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