2003 World Mountain Running Championship preview
Alaska waits to welcome the worlds top mountain runners.
With just a few days to go before the 19th edition of the World Mountain Running Trophy (Patrons IAAF), it is now fairly clear who the contestants will be.
The courses this year are up & down so the descending experts will start as favourites.
Both current World Champions are absent. Svetlana Demidenko (Russia) has been on marathon duty for her country at the World championships in Paris. Jonathan Wyatt (New Zealand) who is already the 2003 WMRA mountain running grand prix winner, has plans to run a marathon qualifying time for next years Olympic Games.
In the ladies race, this throws the favourites mantle onto last years silver medallists, Antonella Confortola (Italy). She will however face stern challenges from Angela Mudge (Scotland) the 2003 European silver medallist, Izabella Zatorska (Poland) already winner of the 2003 WMRA grand prix, and Melissa Moon (New Zealand) champion in 2001.
In the mens race could this be a record 5th World title for Marco de Gasperi (Italy)? He must start favourite on any course involving downhill running. However, European champions Marco Gaiardo (Italy) is in fine form. Emmanuelle Manzi (Italy), silver medallist in 2001 cannot be discounted. Raymond Fontaine (France) should now be reaching the peak of his performance following his silver medal last year and is a favourite once more to be amongst the medallists.
Twenty-six countries have entered athletes, including for the first time Norway.
Each competing athlete will receive a travel subvention of $250 contributed by IAAF and WMRA.
Details of the courses can be found by visiting the Alaskan web page via the link on the WMRA web page www.wmra.info