He continues to be Austria’s best hope for an Olympic marathon medal.
Without a doubt, Günther Weidlinger is Austria’s most-talented long-distance runner. He’s also the most prolific. Last Sunday, he won his country’s half-marathon championships in Weis. That victory was his 50th title across all running events in his impressive career.
In Sunday’s race, he came across the finish line in 63:55–two seconds faster than the previous course record. However, Weidlinger came in third place with Kenya’s Geoffrey Ndungu breaking the tape first.
Weidlinger was using the half-marathon as a tune-up race for the Düsseldorf Marathon on 8 May. There, he wants to run under 2:10. Were he to pull it off, Weidlinger would better his PR by over 47 seconds and would break his own national record.
Though recognized as a marathoner nowadays, Weidlinger is perhaps best known as a steeplechase runner. He won the 1997 European Junior Championships in that event. In 2000, Weidlinger made it to steeplechase final.
However, impressive performances aside, he’s also had his share of challenges. At last year’s European Championships in the heat of Barcelona, Weidlinger could only manage 18th place with a 2:23:37.
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