Swiss Roethlin wins marathon gold in humid Barcelona

BARCELONA Mon Aug 2, 2010 5:38am BST

1 of 4. Viktor Roethlin from Switzerland (C) runs to win the men's marathon final at the European Athletics Championships in Barcelona August 1, 2010. Viktor Roethlin from Switzerland won the men's marathon in a time of 2 hours 15 minutes and 31 seconds ahead of Jose Manuel Martinez from Spain who won silver and Dmitriy Safronov from Russia who won bronze.

Credit: Reuters/Miguel Vidal

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BARCELONA (Reuters) - Switzerland's Viktor Roethlin broke from 25 km to set up a commanding victory in the marathon on a hot, humid Sunday at the European championships in Barcelona.

Roethlin quickly built up a lead which he continued to increase, coming home in two hours 15 minutes 31 seconds to give Switzerland their first medal of the championships and improve on his own silver from four years ago.

Former 10,000 metres European champion Jose Manuel Martinez of Spain was second over two minutes behind in 2:17.50 and Russian Dmitriy Safronov was third in 2:18.16.

Roethlin had finished behind Italian Stefano Baldini in Gothenburg four years ago.

Baldini, the 2004 Olympic champion, returned to competition after almost two years to defend his European title but dropped out around halfway having been up with the leading group for much of the time.

World high jump champion Blanka Vlasic lines up in the women's high jump final later on Sunday searching for a first European medal after finishing fourth in 2006 and Turkey's Elvan Abeylegesse will attempt to add the 5,000 metres gold to the one she already has in the 10,000.

The 4x100 and 4x400 relays also take place on the final day.

(Editing by Kevin Fylan)

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