Raymond Bett breaks Athens Classic Marathon record

By George Georgakopoulos

Kenya?s Raymond Bett broke the Athens Classic Marathon record on Sunday to register his second victory in the last three years at the only race run in the original course every year.

The 28-year-old runner clocked 2 hours 11 minutes and 35 seconds, faring four seconds better than last year?s winner Abdelkerim Boubker.

However, the overall course record of 2:10.55, set by Italian Stefano Baldini at the 2004 Olympic Games, still stands, as Bett?s was the fourth fastest time ever in the original course.

?Everything went well. The weather was great. It was a difficult race with a very high level of competition,? said the winner, who promised that ?if I am well I will return next year, too, because I love the support of the people here.?

Paul Kosgei overtook Alex Kirui inside the stadium to finish second (2:12.20), leaving his Kenyan compatriot in third (2:12.26).

First among the Greeks and ninth overall was Michalis Parmakis, who has therefore won the Greek Marathon Championship with a time of 2:21.56. He was also the winner in 2010.

Victory in the women?s race also went to Kenya as Chemtai Yadaa finished first in 2:40.00, just seven seconds ahead of Ukraine?s Svitlana Stanko. Kenyan Chelangat Kimetto was third (2:40.28).

Magdalini Gazea won the national championship being the first Greek as she came in fifth overall, clocking 2:44.42.