A CHALLENGING MARATHON CLOSED THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS IN IBAGUE
The hardest, one of the most difficult tracks in recent years, squeezed every last drop of breath out of the racers and long-distance adventurers of world skating events. Ibague’s marathon will surely remain in the memory of these skaters who dared to take the challenge.
The intense rain, accompanying the trials of recent days, added a touch of drama to the competition, which took place along the highway that leads to the Perales airport in the capital of Tolima, in a 7.2-kilometer circuit, ending in a false plane that inclined the road and made the arrival much more difficult, about 100 meters, the final ones, with a considerable incline.
As it has been in recent years, the categories compete in a single category; that is, juniors and seniors, united in only two competitions, women and men. And, as the protocol dictates, the ladies were first, followed by 65 juniors and 52 seniors, for a total of 117 athletes who took on the challenge of completing the 42 kilometers and 195 meters.
From the beginning, the Colombians set the pace for the race. A team made up of Luz Karime Garzón, Gabriela Rueda and Laura Tatiana Ospina jumped out of the group and managed to get an important difference that was an indication of a victory on the podium. The hard race train imposed by Garzón stopped the strength, initially, of Laura Tatiana and later of Gabriela, undertaking a solo trip that led her to raise her arms in a sign of victory, stopping the clock at 1 h 23 min 13 sec. Silver went to Colombian Gabriela Rueda, and third place went to French Marine Lefeuvre, who entered with a time difference of 3 minutes and 10 seconds.
The weather improved in the men’s trials. Although the sun did not come out, the temperature and the condition of the road did improve, which made the skaters more confident and stronger. The race had a leading character, Andrés Felipe Gómez, who jumped out of the group three times trying to find a space, finding luck on his third try, in which he managed to release from the group and gaining a place from the pack of competitors. French, Martin Ferrie went to his wheel, starting a confrontation that, in the end, arrived just to dispute the gold.
Ferrie’s experience was evident in the last kilometer, as he endured the junior Gomez and attacked him with only 200 meters to go, leaving the Colombian, who had used his energy during the escape, without an option.
Gold went for France with Martin Pierre with 1h 07min 36sec., silver for Andrés Felipe Gómez from Colombia with a record of 1h 07min 44sec. and bronze for Yan Cheng Chen, Intense race, worthy of the world championships.
The show is over, the balances will come, and the illusion of what will be the third edition of the World Roller Games in Buenos Aires in the coming year.