9 April 2000 Paris - France's Mohamed Ouaadi powered away from the field seven kilometres from the end of the Paris Marathon to win Sunday's race by 20 seconds.
France's top marathon runner finished the 42.2km course in two hours, eight minutes 49 seconds, well clear of second-placed Samuel Otieno of Kenya.
Another French runner, Abdellah Behar, was third, 24 seconds behind Ouaadi, with Tanzania's Zebadayo Bayo in fourth and Mwenze Kalombo of Congo fifth.
The most surprising performance was that of Abdellah Behar, better known as a middle distance track and cross country runner, and who at the age of 36 was competing for the first time over the marathon distance.
Belgian Marleen Renders won the women's race in 2:23.43, setting a new course record. Ouaadi and Renders each win 150,000 francs (dlrs 22,400).
More than 31,000 runners set out on the Champs Elysées in clear, bright conditions and it was Benoit Zwierzchlewski, the Belgian-born athlete who runs for France, who started off in aggressive mood to open a 15-second lead after 20 kilometres.
Zwierzchlewski clocked the first 25 kilometres in 1:24.26, a pace three minutes faster than last year's quickest-ever Paris marathon. But he couldn't maintain the pace and was caught by Kenya's Godfrey Kiprotich in kilometre 28.
Kiprotich was quickly joined at the front by Ouaadi and Kalombo, third here last year and runner-up in 1998.
As the pace slowed Ouaadi moved clear with seven kilometres to go. The 31-year-old, who will represent France at the Sydney Olympics, had a 10-second lead in kilometre 40 and won with ease.
"My plan was to attack in the 35th kilometre and it went well,'' Ouaadi said. "It is the best win I have ever had.''
Paris Marathon Results
1. Mohamed Ouaadi (Fra) 2:08:49
2. Sammy Otieno (Ken) 2:09:10
3. Abdelah Behar (Fra) 2:09:13
4. Zebedayo Bayo (Tan) 2:09:18.
5. Mwenze Kalombo (RDC) 2:10:36.
6. Paul Kipsambu (Ken) 2:10:45.
7. Mohamed Ezzher (Fra) 2:11:02.
8. Nelson Chirchir (Ken) 2:12:22.
9. Benoit Zwierzchlewski (Fra) 2:12:29.
10. John Moiben (Ken) 2:12:44.
11. Patrick Kaotsane (AFS) 2:12:53.
12. Hakim Bagy (Fra) 2:13:03.
13. Elias Chebet (Ken) 2:13:32.
14. Evans Ogaro (Ken) 2:13:38.
15. Julius Sugut (Ken) 2:14:47.
1. Merleen Renders (Bel) 2 h 23:44. (course record)
2. Alina Tecuta (Rou) 2 h 28:18.
3. Irina Timofeyeva (Rus) 2 h 30:02.
4. Milkah Chepkieny (Ken) 2 h 31:26.
5. Valentina Enaki (Mol) 2 h 33:28.
6. Gladisse Edato (Ken) 2 h 33:28.
7. Chantal Dallenbach (Sui) 2 h 33:48.
8. Maryse Le Gallo (Fra) 2 h 35:17.
9. Luce-Marie Romanens (Sui) 2 h 35:55.
10. Natalia Volguina (Rus) 2 h 38:22.