Wednesday, June 7

Houssame Benabbou, bronze in the Spanish Marathon Championship

Houssame Benabbou with his bronze medal on the podium alongside champion Jorge Blanco and runner-up Ibrahim Chakir. / @athletismoRFEA


Ricardo Rosado finishes fourth and in the women’s race Mercedes Pila comes in sixth position

Houssame Benabbou gets another national podium. The Talayuelan athlete of Moroccan origin won the bronze medal in the Spanish Marathon Championship that was held in Zaragoza. Ricardo Rosado finished fourth, while in the women’s race María Mercedes Pila was unable to retain her title and had to settle for sixth place. Jorge Blanco from León and Yesica Mas from Alicante were crowned the new Spanish marathon champions in a tough test marked by wind and cold.

Benabbou started as one of the favorites and from the beginning of the test he made it clear. At kilometer 10, the Extremadurans led the Spanish leading quintet which also included Jorge Blanco, Ibrahim Chakir and Arturo Bossy with a pace of 31:18. Benabbou took command as he passed through the middle along with Ibrahim Chakir from Soriano with a time of 1h05:52 with Jorge Blanco hot on his heels one second behind and Ricardo Rosado and Artur Bossy from Cáceres two seconds behind. But with 6 kilometers to go, Blanco hit a jerk and left his rivals off the hook. The Leonese delivered a definitive ax to launch himself directly for his first title of his career in his second marathon and reach the finish line with a time of 2h11:53, which is a European minimum although above his previous record and therefore better personal brand (2h11:34). As current national champion, Blanco secures a place among those preselected for the European Championships in Munich in August. Behind, Benabbou, Rosado and Chakir were fighting for the other two places for the podium. Bossy accused the strong attack and was ruled out by having to leave. Chakir also left the company of the Extremadurans in search of the runner-up position in his debut with the 42.195 kilometers and crossed the finish line just with the time that marks the European minimum of 2:13:00. The Extremadurans were left alone in the fight for bronze, but Bennabou opened a small gap and left Rosado from Cáceres with honey on his lips. The Talayuelan athlete stopped the clock in 2:15:09, far from his personal best (2:10:45 in 2019) and the spectacular record of 2:11:38 achieved a month ago at the Seville Marathon, which is a European minimum. Ricardo Rosado from Cáceres had to settle for curata plaza with a time of 2:16:29.

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In the women’s race, Mercedes Pila was left off the podium after three consecutive editions being one of the medalists. The Ecuadorian athlete based in Jarandilla de la Vera finished sixth and could not repeat her triumph last year or the bronzes of 2019 and 2020. Mercedes Pila completed the marathon in 2h49: 26, far from her best records. Yesica Mas also won her first career title with a magnificent performance in Zaragoza. The woman from Alicante won the gold with a time of 2:41:22. Yesica Mas was accompanied on the podium by Elena García Grimau from Madrid (2:43:12) and Pilar Rubio, also from Alicante (2:44:32).

When passing through the half marathon, the title was already a matter of two. Yesica Mas and Elena García Grimau led the race separated by two seconds, 1:19:37 and 1:19:39, while the favorite and 2017 champion Clara Simal was behind with 1:21:09. Mas accelerated the pace to proclaim herself champion of Spain and the silver for García Grimau. In the fight for the bronze, Pilar Rubio reacted to leave Madrid’s Simal off the podium.

The Spanish marathon champion will have to wait to be selected for the European Championship in Munich, since to obtain the direct ticket that awarded the title, it was required to have the European minimum (2h30:15).

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