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1987 World Championships in Athletics Rome, Italy

1987 2nd IAAF World Championships - Rome - Women's Marathon



Host City: Rome, Italy
Dates: August 28 – September 6, 1987
Nations participating: 159
Athletes participating: 1451
    Main venue: Stadio Olimpico
Overview by IAAF   stadio olimpico rome 
The two-time European Champion Rota Mota ran perhaps her greatest ever race. In hot conditions (23°C, 73% humidity) and on a difficult course, the 29 year-old Portuguese clocked the second-fastest ever time for a women-only race. Mota led as the runners left the stadium and continued to pull away. At 15k she was more than one minute up on the pack. She passed halfway in 71:54. Ivanova led the chasing pack at this point and held on for the silver medal, more than seven minutes behind Mota.

The women's marathon was one of the road events at the 1987 World Championships in Athletics in Rome, Italy. It took place on 29 August 1987; the course started and finished at the Stadio Olimpico and passed several of Rome's historic landmarks. The race was won by Portugal's Rosa Mota in 2:25:17, a new championship record, ahead of Zoya Ivanova of the Soviet Union in second and France's Jocelyne Villeton in third.

In warm conditions, the pre-race favourite, Mota, led from the start. Another of the runners expected to do well, Australia's Lisa Martin, was suffering from fatigue after working too hard in training, and she pulled out of the race after 25 kilometres (16 mi). Mota won the race by almost seven and a half minutes, but did not initially realise that she had finished the race, as she thought she still had to run another lap of the track in the stadium.


The race started and finished at the Stadio Olimpico, and largely stayed within the area of central Rome enclosed by the Aurelian Walls. It skirted around the lower edges of three of the seven hills of Rome without climbing any of them, and passed several ancient landmarks, including the Colosseum, the Baths of Caracalla and St. Peter's Square. Part of the course ran along cobbled streets, which along with the warm temperatures forecast, led to expectations that there would not be fast times in the race.

Several of the world's quickest female marathoners were absent from the race. Ingrid Kristiansen, who was the world record holder, having run the 1985 London Marathon in 2:21:06, opted to run the 10,000 metres instead. Joan Benoit, the Olympic champion, was also missing, as she was pregnant. Grete Waitz, the reigning world champion suffered a suspected stress fracture in her foot a couple of weeks before the race, and although she travelled to Rome and considered running with painkillers, she decided not to take the risk, and withdrew. In their absence, the favourites were Rosa Mota of Portugal and Australia's Lisa Martin. Mota was a two-time European champion, and the third quickest female marathoner, while Martin had run the fifth fastest women's marathon time. Both came into the Championships in less than ideal situations: Mota had been suffering from a urinary tract infection, while during training in Florida, Martin had overtrained in hot conditions.


The race started at 16:55 local time on 29 August 1987, the opening day of the Championships, in temperatures of around 27 °C (80 °F). Mota took the lead before the race left the stadium, and extended it as the race progressed. She completed the first half of the marathon in 1:12:10, and won by over seven minutes. When she crossed the finish line, in 2:25:17, she continued running, as she thought she had another lap to complete. It was only when a race official flagged her down 30 metres (98 ft) into her second lap, telling her that she had finished, that she stopped. She blamed her mistake on the instructions she had received before the race: "an official told me I had to take two loops of the track". Mota's time was a new championship record, beating the 2:28:09 set by Grete Waitz at the 1983 marathon.

Martin, who was expected to the most likely to challenge Mota in the race withdrew after 25 kilometres (16 mi); she was falling back down the field, and her whole body felt sore. She blamed it residual fatigue from the problems she had suffered during training in Florida. Martin was one of nine runners to pull out of the race. Zoya Ivanova of the Soviet Union finished in second, in 2:32:38, while France's Jocelyne Villeton claimed bronze, in 2:32:53.


At the 1988 Olympics, Mota beat Martin by 13 seconds and became the only woman to be the reigning European, World, and Olympic champion simultaneously.
  Marathon 29 August
1 Rosa Mota POR 29 Jun 58 2.25.17
2 Zoya Ivanova URS 14 Mar 52 2.32.38
3 Jocelyn Villeton FRA 17 Sep 54 2.32.53
4 Bente Moe NOR 2 Dec 60 2.33.21
5 Yelena Tsukhlo URS 13 May 54 2.33.55
6 Yekaterina Khramenkova URS 16 Oct 56 2.34.23
7 Nancy Ditz USA 25 Jun 54 2.34.54
8 Sinikka Keskitalo FIN 29 Jan 51 2.35.16
9 Karolina Szabó HUN 17 Nov 61 2.36.18
10 Miyuki Yamashita JPN 15 Oct 64 2.36.55
11 Angie Hulley GBR 8 Feb 62 2.38.12
12 Antonella Bizioli ITA 29 Mar 57 2.38.52
13 Mercedes Calleja ESP 9 Jul 58 2.38.58
14 Uta Pippig GER 7 Sep 65 2.39.30
15 Agnes Pardaens BEL 9 Oct 56 2.39.52
16 Odette Lapierre CAN 28 Jan 55 2.40.20
17 Paula Fudge GBR 30 Mar 52 2.42.42
18 Genoveva Eichenmann SUI 12 Sep 57 2.43.07
19 Maria Luisa Irizar ESP 29 Jan 64 2.43.54
20 Emma Scaunich ITA 10 Mar 54 2.44.32
21 Evy Palm SWE 31 Jan 42 2.44.41
22 Véronique Marot GBR 16 Sep 55 2.45.02
23 Gabriela Wolf FRG 28 Oct 60 2.45.13
24 Christine Kennedy IRL 29 Dec 54 2.45.47
25 Hazel Stewart NZL 2.48.41
26 Eriko Asai JPN 20 Oct 59 2.48.44
27 Marcianne Mukamurenzi RWA 11 Nov 59 2.49.38
28 Rita Borralho POR 2.52.26
29 Dorothy Goertzen CAN 2.53.11
30 Cornelia Melis ARU 2.59.31
31 Gina Coello HON 3.01.53
32 Maria del Pilar Menendez GUA 3.16.20
33 Juli Ogbourn GUM 3.50.56
- Cathy Twomey USA DNF
- Lisa Martin-Ondieki AUS DNF
- Renata Kokowska POL DNF
- Kimberly Rosenquist-Jones USA DNF
- Maria Rebelo-Lelut FRA DNF
- Rita Marchisio ITA DNF
- Monika Schafer FRG DNF
- Angelica De Almeida BRA DNF
- Susan Stone CAN DNF

29 AUG 1987 Please click on a row below to view more information

  Eriko Asai JPN JPN    
  Antonella Bizioli ITA ITA    
  Rita Borralho POR POR 2:53:41  
  Mercedes Calleja ESP ESP    
  Gina Coello HON HON    
  Angelica De Almeida BRA BRA    
  Nancy Ditz USA USA    
  Genoveva Eichenmann SUI SUI    
  Paula Fudge GBR GBR    
  Dorothy Goertzen CAN CAN 2:46:38  
  Maria Luisa Irizar ESP ESP    
  Zoya Ivanova URS URS 2:43:27  
  Kim Jones USA USA    
  Christine Kennedy IRL IRL    
  Sinikka Keskitalo FIN FIN    
  Yekaterina Khramenkova URS URS    
  Renata Kokowska POL POL    
  Odette Lapierre CAN CAN    
  Rita Marchisio ITA ITA 2:35:08  
  Veronique Marot GBR GBR    
  Lisa Martin-Ondieki AUS AUS    
  Cornelia Melis ARU ARU    
  Maria del Pilar Menendez GUA GUA    
  Bente Moe NOR NOR    
  Rosa Mota POR POR 2:23:29  
  Marcianne Mukamurenzi RWA RWA    
  Juli Ogbourn GUM GUM    
  Angie Pain-Hulley GBR GBR    
  Evy Palm SWE SWE 2:51:49  
  Agnes Pardaens BEL BEL    
  Uta Pippig GDR GDR    
  Maria Rebelo-Lelut FRA FRA    
  Emma Scaunich ITA ITA    
  Monika Schäfer FRG FRG    
  Hazel Stewart NZL NZL    
  Susan Stone CAN CAN    
  Karolina Szabó HUN HUN 2:40:23  
  Yelena Tsukhlo URS URS 2:28:53 2:28:53
  Cathy Twomey USA USA    
  Jocelyn Villeton FRA FRA    
  Gabriela Wolf FRG FRG    
  Miyuki Yamashita JPN JPN




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