ANDREU BLANES WINS SIERRE-ZINAL 2022
ANDREU BLANES WINS SIERRE-ZINAL 2022. Our TRAIL RUNNING sections bring us the news just published by the official organization of the Swiss race Sierre Zinal.
As we informed you, Sierre Zinal 2022 ex-winner, Mark Kangogo, tested positive for two substances prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and today it has been released that Mark Kangogo’s suspension is final.
ANDREU BLANES WINS SIERRE-ZINAL 2022
Andreu Blanes (Spain) is the official winner of Sierre-Zinal 2022. He won the race in a time of 02h29’19”.
Andreu Blanes is the second Spanish runner in history to win Sierre-Zinal after Kilian Jornet. He enters the legend of the “Five 4000-ers” race!
Mark Kangogo’s suspension is final. The Athletics Integrity Unit informed us today that the athlete concerned “has acknowledged the offence, accepted a sanction and waived his right to appeal”. As a reminder, the athlete tested positive for two substances prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) during the 49th edition of Sierre-Zinal.
The Men’s ranking has been adapted in the “Runner” category (see the official ranking). The organisation’s regulations stipulate that the prize money of tested athletes is suspended until the anti-doping tests are obtained. These prizes are released once the negative tests are confirmed by the UIA. Therefore, Mark Kangogo’s prize money has not been paid and will be redistributed according to the new ranking by the Sierre-Zinal organisation.
As we informed you yesterday, Sierre-Zinal and the Athletics Integrity Unit made public the statement about Sierre-Zinal 2022 WMRA and Golden Trail Series winner, Mark Kangogo and his positive results on the doping test after the event.
Below you can see the official statement from both, Sierre-Zinal Organization and the AIU
On Monday 10 October 2022 the Athletics Integrity Unit informed the Sierre-Zinal Management Committee that disciplinary proceedings have been initiated against the winner of the men’s race at Sierre-Zinal 2022:
“The winner of the men’s race Mark Kangogo tested positive for two substances prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) at the 49th edition of Sierre-Zinal. Disciplinary proceedings have been initiated and the athlete has been provisionally suspended. The violation could lead to the athlete’s results at Sierre-Zinal 2022 being invalidated. The procedure is ongoing.” the Athletics Integrity Unit stated.
The final Men’s ranking for the 2022 edition is therefore suspended, pending the outcome of the disciplinary proceedings. The management of Sierre-Zinal will make no further comment on this specific point until the conclusion of the disciplinary proceedings.
For several years, Sierre-Zinal has been fighting against all forms of doping by systematically mandating doping controls for the “Runners” category. Within the framework of the Golden Trail World Series, Sierre-Zinal also applies the “Quartz” programme aimed at preserving the health of the athletes.
Sierre-Zinal, heart first, time second
Which is why the race management is committed to a clean race, out of respect for the thousands of participants who have made Sierre-Zinal a world-class race for 49 years. Sierre-Zinal will continue to be the event that brings together all levels of sportsmen and women, defending the profound values of sport: fairness, surpassing oneself, discipline and respect
On the same topic, the Athletics Integrity Unit has also released a statement about Mark Kangogo and the two substances by which the Sierre-Zinal 2022 winner has been provisionally suspended:
The AIU has provisionally suspended Mark Kangogo of Kenya for the Presence/Use of Prohibited Substances (Norandrosterone & Triamcinolone acetonide) (Article 2.1 and Article 2.2).
Details here: https://t.co/5W4EeNECxp pic.twitter.com/WwVbaaAz5H
— Athletics Integrity Unit (@aiu_athletics) October 11, 2022
JULIEN LYON, Mark’s Kangogo coach and manager has also released an statement based on the positive of his, until now, athlete:
The news hit many of us. Disappointment, sadness and misunderstandings at the same time.
Following his career at Sierre Zinal, Mark Kangogo has tested positive.
Mark was part of our group where help, teamwork and honesty are the rule. He betrayed our trust.
Without excuse, no explanation is possible. Zero tolerance for doping. Mark is excluded from our team, and we will continue to train with the same motivation and determination. However, it will take time to pacify the many feelings of betrayal from a training partner.
All this shows us how fundamental the fight against doping is and vigilance. And it makes us think about preventive measures that can and should be implemented. There are already organizations working on it and we are getting closer.
We want to do everything we can to avoid unfair topics that could penalize all Kenyan athletes for the mistakes of a few.
SIERRE-ZINAL 2022: 31KM| 2200M+
Sierre-Zinal draws top international runners back year after year, in pursuit of one of the biggest accolades in mountain running. From 1979 to 1982 Pablo Vigil (USA) won 4 in a row. In the women’s race Veronique Marot (GBR) won 3 out of 4 between 1984 and 1987, then Isabella Crettenand-Moretti (SUI) was unbeaten between 1995 and 1997. In 2001 Ricardo Mejia (MEX) won his first of 3 races, but his dominance was interrupted by Jonathan Wyatt (NZL) in 2002 and 2003, who set the record of 2.29.12 which was unbeaten for 16 years. In 2006 Anna Pichrtova (CZE) began her 4 year reign, setting the women’s record of 2.54.26 in the process. This record would also endure for 11 years.
But by far the most dominant male athlete here has of course been Kilian Jornet (ESP) who has won an incredible 8 times. He finally beat the record set by Jonathan Wyatt at an unbelievably exciting 2019 race, running 2.25.35.
Lucy Wambui (KEN) has won 3 times in recent years (2015, 2017, 2018) but it was Maude Mathys (SUI) who finally smashed Anna Pichrtova’s record with a stunning run of 2.49.20, also in 2019. Will these records stand after Saturday’s race? Let’s take a look at the fields.
SIERRE ZINAL 2022 : THE RACE
Sierre Zinal is a race especially open to all types of runners due to its characteristics, and that day it has been proven so.
Not too technical, not too rolling. Neither very long, nor short… Total, that in the end here converge and win often, athletes trained in other disciplines. It was not causality that first victory in 1974 of the cross-country skier against the Olympic champion of the 3,000m hurdles.
Kilian Jornet was looking for his tenth gold here, moreover, he was once again the mega-favorite, also counting that the record here is his, since 2019 with 2h25.35.
However as he explained at the finish line he suffered from some cramps and at the last aid station with no more than 5 KM to the finish line, the head of the race had 7 minutes from him.
In the men’s race it was another Kenyan debutant who pushed the pace early on. Unlike Chesang, Mark
Kangogo, 2nd at Thyon-Dixence last weekend, had company.
Among those who kept up with the early pace were Kangogo’s compatriots Patrick Kipngeno and Philemon Kiriago, the Run2gether pair who have been the standouts on the Valsir World Cup so far this year, and the great Catalan Kilian Jornet, 9 time champion of Sierre-Zinal.
Gradually that group broke as first Kangogo and Kipngeno pulled away from the rest, then as the gradients eased after Chandolin, Kangogo pulled away from Kipngeno. Running ahead of course record pace, his lead grew all the way to Hotel Weisshorn and although he slowed dramatically in the final kilometres and dropped behind the record, he was never in danger of being caught.
Falling to the ground as he crossed the line, Kangogo’s winning time, 2:27:31, is the 3rd fastest in the race’s history; only Kilian Jornet and Petro Mamu, 1st and 2nd in 2019, have run faster.
Remarkable runs for 2nd place are becoming a tradition at Sierre-Zinal. After Robbie Simpson’s incredible move through the field in 2021, this year it was the turn of Andreu Blanes.
The Spanish orienteer was nowhere early on, over 4 minutes down on the leaders at Ponchette. Biding his time, he picked up a few places through the middle section of the race, then from Hotel Weisshorn to the finish he flew.
No-one else was even close to his splits. Where Mathys ran out of road, Blanes had just enough, passing Kipngeno on the final descent and giving himself just enough of a buffer to celebrate, falling to his knees as he crossed the line in 2nd, 14 seconds ahead of Kipngeno in 3rd
But if the race for 2nd was exciting, the race for 4th was heart-stopper. Kilian Jornet and the Eritrean Petro Mamu, sparring partners at this race before, were also gaining hard. Metres apart, they passed a fading Kiriago, who took a horrible fall, in the closing minutes.
On the road into the finish the 9 time champion thought his 4th place was secure, but as Jornet was high fiving the fans Mamu was right behind, his footsteps hidden by the noise of the crowd, winding up to a ferocious finishing kick. By the time Jornet realised what was happening it was too late. Leaning for the line like he was racing on the track, Mamu snatched 4th place by a tenth of a second.
Philemon Kiriago did a commendable job of limiting his losses after his fall and crossed the line, covered in dust, just 28 seconds later to take 6th
1 – ANDREU BLANES (ESP – HOKA ONE ONE/CARNICAS SERRANO): 02:29:19
2 – PATRICK KIPNGENO (KEN – RUN2GETHER): 02:29:35
3 – PETRO MAMU (ERI – SCARPA): 02:30:18
4 – KILIAN JORNET (ESP – NNORMAL): 02:30:19
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