Van Dyk in a race too far

2004-09-27 13:02
Athens - Ernst van Dyk, who holds the world's fastest time for the wheelchair marathon, succumbed to his busy racing programme on the track when he fell out of contention for the Athens Paralympic marathon on Sunday.

Krige Schobart, winner of the silver medal at the 2000 Sydney Paralympics, also dropped out of contention in cool Athenian conditions.

Van Dyk, winner of silver medals in the 800m and 1 500m and bronze in the 5 000m, couldn't find traction for his hands on the undulating course. By the time he managed to get hold of chalk the field was well away and he ended up 18th among 23 finishers.

Kurt Fearnley of Australia took the lead at the 12km mark and opened up a lead of more than four minutes on the way to gold in 1hr 25min 37sec.

Canada's Kelly Smith took silver in 1:29:39 finishing ahead of many of the greatest wheelchair athletes ever. Pole Tomasz Hamerlak came through the field to capture the bronze in 1:31:01 just two seconds ahead of Aaron Gordian of Mexico.

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