01 OCT 2005 General News Edmonton, Canada

Tomescu wins first Global Title in World Half Marathon

Constantina Tomescu wins World Half Marathon in Edmonton (Getty Images)Constantina Tomescu wins World Half Marathon in Edmonton (Getty Images) © Copyright

  Constantina TomescuDita with a powerful display of front running easily clinched the IAAF World Half Marathon womens title in Edmonton on Saturday afternoon.

The Romanian third in last year's competition, led virtually from the beginning of the 13.1miles race, scoring a runwaway victory in a season's best time of  one hour nine minutes and 17seconds.

The 35-year-old veteran third in the recent World Championships Marathon in Helsinki, blunted the challenges of Lornah Kiplagat and Susan Chepkemei who gamely battled for the silver medal.

However Derartu Tulu one of the pre-race favourites, was never in contention for a medal placing, the Ethiopian falling behind with less than three miles of the race completed.

Chepkemei three-times runner-up, was in the sprint for the line beaten by Kiplagat her former Kenyan colleague now running in the colours of the Netherlands.

Kiplagat like Tomescu-Dita running her fastest time of the year and suffering with a hamstring problem early in the race, held off Chepkemei by just a second in a time of a 1:10:19.

Tomescu-Dita with an unabandoned display of front running and winning a first-ever global title, also collected the US$30,000 first prize after eventually breaking her rivals with only four-and-a-half miles of the race completed. 
 
She also led Romania second last year behind Ethiopia, to a sixth team title ahead of Russia and Japan.

Romania's three counters accumulated a time of 3:31.00, with Russia recording 3:33:05 and Ethiopia finishing in 3:35:42.

The race contested not only at altitude but on a cold day with rain falling, was dominated by Tomescu-Dita racing the only way she knows in pole position from the front.    
 
Tomescu-Dita ignoring the light rain and cold conditions, pushed the pace through five kilometres in 16minutes 05seconds.

That rid her of Tulu, Ethiopia's pre-race favourite surprisingly falling back as the Romanian piled on the pressure.

Tomescu-Dita three kilometres later pulled away and at the 10K marker passed in 32:07, held a very healthy lead of 18seconds ahead of Chepkemei and Kiplagat.

Her presence at the front of the field, saw Romania leading the team race with a combined time of 1:38:50 for their first three runners, ahead of Russia (1:39:15) and Ethiopia (1:39:47).

Chepkemei a three-times runner-up and her former Kenyan colleague Kiplagat, over the next 5K, had no answer to the powerful pace which last year's Chicago marathon champion continued to maintain.

Tomescu-Dita going through 15K in 48:42, held an advantage of 41sec over her two rivals whose only consolation was they at least had one another for company.

At that point the Romanian side five times past champions, held a lead of 61seconds ahead of Russia with Ethiopia following their European opponents in 2:31:59.

Then it was a matter of maintaining a constant pace as she destroyed everyone of her rivals - her winning margin was 1 minute 02 seconds -with a rock solid performance.

Dave Martin for the IAAF

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