Saturday, 1 September 2012

Spanish Marathon Championships (I): Bouzán & Fiuza win and will be at Rome to defend their title

Spain has got its representatives at the Marathon World Championships to be held in 3 weeks at Rome (Italy), after a great National Championship which took place at Tuy (Galicia). Walter Bouzán and Álvaro F. Fiuza managed to add one new title to their impressive career by beating in the final sprint Emilio Merchán and Iván Alonso, who will be the second couple at the Worlds.

After a first lap at the course with a really crowded group on the lead, up to 10 K2s, Bouzán/Fiuza started with their usual tactics of pushing before every portage not to find a busy pontoon. They arrived in first position and even despite the large room at the pontoon, after the portage only 6 boats managed to stay at the front group.

The pace settled down again and that was the time for the rest of K2s to come back again to the main bunch. But lap after lap they were fewer crews the ones strong enough to do it. Among those pairs were the del Teso brothers, who finally paid the effort; León/Castañón, who never gave up and got their reward; and the new crew of Becerro/Ruíz de Aretxabaleta, who didn’t start very well, maybe due to the lack of training together, but made an extraordinary comeback to the leading group.

Most of the portages were leaded by Merchán and Iván Alonso. Emilio Merchán had a bandage in his left leg due to a muscular injury, which didn’t let him run properly, but he didn’t gave up pushing hard either. Busto/Llamedo were always on the wash and two very young couples managed to keep in the front group for most part of the race: Luis Amado Pérez/Pedro Gutiérrez and Benjamín Ramírez/Adrián Martín, who suffered sometimes in the water, but were very quickly running.

Finally, after a very powerful sixth portage by Merchán/Alonso and Bouzán/Fiuza, the race splitted in groups of two. The two mentioned crews went on their own, with Busto/Llamedo and Pérez/Gutiérrez in a second group and León/Castañón and Ramírez/Martín remained a hundred metres behind. The terrific pace set by the two front boats, made lose their hopes of victory those in the chasing group, so Busto/Llamedo surprisingly quitted. The fact that Emilio Merchán and Iván Alonso belong to different clubs, allowed him to try to qualify for the World Championships, but opened the medals to the next boat as they were not participating officially in the Spanish Championships. With Busto and Llamedo quit, the fight for the bronze medal was then in the third group.

At the last lap, the two first boats were facing the portage just 800 metres before the finish line. Despite the visible pain of Merchán, the run was furious and he and Alonso managed to arrive first to the water, but on the way down Merchán paid for his crazy run on such a steep way and fell down on the floor. When he stood up again, Bouzán and Fiuza were already in the kayak, so they managed to take the lead towards the final sprint. Merchán and Alonso efforts to surpass them were not enough and Walter Bouzán and Álvaro Fiuza claimed another title in the Spanish Championships, actually the third one in a row. Despite their second place, Merchán and Alonso looked very happy after the race, as they got thir objective,. Which was the qualification for Rome. Then, silver medal of the championships went to Luis Amado Pérez and Pedro Gutiérrez, while in the fight for bronze, Jesús Rodríguez León and Miguel Fernández Castañón showed much stronger than their young opponents Ramírez/Martín and managed to be on the third step of the podium.

At this link you can check the full results of the championships. Tomorrow we will upload the chronicle of the K1 and other categories.

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