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Last Updated: Saturday, 30 August, 2003, 14:51 GMT 15:51 UK
Gharib claims marathon crown
Morocco's Jaoud Gharib
Morocco's Jaoud Gharib won a thrilling men's marathon at the World Championships in Paris.

The 31-year-old set the pace throughout the race and finished strongly to cross the line in two hours 08.31 minutes, a new championship record time.

Spain's Julio Rey had stuck with Gharib but he could not catch the fast-finishing Moroccan and settled for silver.

Italy's Stefano Baldini took bronze for the second world championships running after overhauling Kenyan favourite Michael Rotich at the 40-km mark.

Rotich, who was ranked as the world's number one this season, was in the leading pack for much of the race but finished out of the medals.

Olympic champion and winner of this year's London Marathon, Gezahegne Abera dropped out of the race in the final kilometres as did Britain's Matt O'Dowd.

Gharib, running only his second marathon, stayed with Rotich when the Kenyan decided to make a break from the pack of 21 runners at the 30-km mark.

But it was Gharib who had the right mix of stamina and speed as he broke away from Rey as they entered the Stade de France to claim gold in his first championship marathon.


1. Jaouad Gharib (Mor) 2hrs 8mins 31secs
2. Julio Rey (Spa) 2:08:38
3. Stefano Baldini (Ita) 2:09:14
4. Alberto Chaia (Por) 2:09:25
5. Shigeru Aburaya (Jpn) 2:09:26
6. Daniele Caimmi (Ita) 2:09:29
7. Ian Syster (Rsa) 2:10:17
8. Michael Rotich (Ken) 2:10:35
9. Hendrick Ramaala (Rsa) 2:10:37
10. Atsushi Sato (Jpn) 2:10:38




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