Belarus female runner Volha Mazuronak showed great improvement in the London marathon in 2016 - bringing her pb down to 2:23.54, running the last half marathon faster than her previous pb for the half marathon distance. Her last 2.195km really raised eyebrows, all the way to Japan.
Â Her new pb of 2:23.54 is an improvement of 2 minutes on her previous best time for the marathon. What really amazed people present in London was the way she ran the race. 1:13.19 for the first half, and then a scintillating 1:10.35 for the second half (2:21 pace). Her last 2195m were covered in an astonishing (but legitimate) 7'08" compared with 7'17" for the winner of the race - Sumgong.
Maria Yamauchi commented on her blog that Mazuronak's time defies belief - to quote her words "if someone can explain Mazuronak's performance to me, please let me know, because I am at a loss for words"
Her last 2195m were astonishing, because her time of 7'08" for that last portion of the race was faster than the men finishing from the 6th to 10th places. In "Japan Running News" there are some questions about her performance, in view of the fact that many of the athletes who ran marathons in Japan, under the Russian coach - Andrey Baranov - were caught for doping in Japan or elsewhere, following races in Japan.
She runs faster than her compatriot - Aleksandra Duliba - who had the national record (2h21'29") which she has since lost following irregularities in her bio passport.
Here is a list of athletes and their marathon stats - some of these athletes have had their races and times suspended - regrettably, because some of them took supplements supplied by their coach, in good faith. Most of them are poor, not very well educated country girls from Ukraine and Belarus. They were just following coaching protocols. This does not excuse the ban, but there are mitigating circumstances,.
ATHLETE Country PERFORMANCE Time 1stHalf second half 2195 M.
Volha Mazuronak Belarus 4thÂ London 2016
Performance validated 2h23â€™54â€™â€™ 1h13â€™19â€™â€™ 1h10â€™35â€™â€™ 7â€™08â€™â€™
Aleksandra Duliba Belarus 6thÂ Boston 2014 Performance annulled 2h21â€™29â€™â€™ 1h10â€™15â€™â€™ 1h11â€™14â€™â€™ 7â€™17â€™â€™
Mariya Konovalova Russsia 2ndÂ Nagoya 2015Performance annulled 2h22â€™27â€™â€™ 1h11â€™08â€™â€™ 1h11â€™09â€™â€™ 7â€™22â€™â€™
Tetiana Gamera Ukraine 1stÂ Osaka 2015Performance annulled 2h22â€™09â€™â€™ 1h11â€™15â€™â€™ 1h10â€™â€™154 7â€™18â€™â€™
Mariya Konovalova Russia 1stÂ Nagoya 2014Performance annulled 2h23â€™43â€™â€™ 1h12â€™â€™34 1h11â€™09 7â€™13â€™â€™
Tetiana Gamera Ukraine 1stÂ Osaka 2014Performance annulled 2h24â€™37â€™â€™ 1h12â€™12â€™â€™ 1h12â€™â€™25 7â€™26â€™â€™
Albina Mayorova Russia 1stÂ Yokohama 2013 2h25â€™55â€™â€™ 1h13â€™45 1h12â€™10 7â€™43â€™â€™
Tetiana Gamera Ukraine 1stÂ Osaka 2013,Performance annulled 2h23â€™58â€™â€™ 1h11â€™40 1h12â€™18 7â€™14â€™â€™
Volha Mazuronak (27 years old) Â has improved by leaps and bounds, and has passed, with success, all the doping controls, before, during and after competitions. We have no reason, therefore, to believe that her times are suspicious, unless/until we have evidence to the contrary. Mazuronak is a former elite walker, and placed 5th in the World Juniors over 10km in 2006). She debuted in the marathon in 2012 with a time of 2h33', and the next year (2013) she ran a similar time. Good progress was made in December 2014, in the Sacramento Marathon where she recorded a time of 2h27'33" - in the 2015 London marathon, she improved to 2h25'36" before her amazing 2016 record - 2h23'54"
The organizers of London have stressed that Maruzonak passed all the doping controls with flying colors, and that she has also been subject to controls throughout the past few years as she is in the pool of runners who are followed by the 'Marathon Majors' events. This means that she is regularly controlled out of competition, so there is nowhere to hide. For the London Marathon, 2016, as soon as she arrived, she underwent blood tests and no abnormalities were found.
Is she a legit contender for Rio? Some think she runs more for the money, and might not have the motivation to run well in Rio, for no pay cheque. Follow this story here.
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