Oldest Olympic women's marathon winner-world
record set by Constantina Dita
BEIJING, China -- During the Beijing Olympic
Games, the 38-year-old romanian athlete Constantina
DitaTomescu won the marathon in 2 hours 26 minutes
44 seconds, setting the world record for the Oldest
Olympic women's marathon winner.
Photo: Constantina Dita Tomescu
of Romania holds her Olympic Gold medal / photo courtesy ProSport (enlarge
"The experience of age helped me," she told reporters.
"I have raced a lot before, I know a lot about running."
Michael Phillips wrote for 'The Guardian':
"She made her way into the Bird's Nest - where there
was a 40,000 crowd - and savoured every second of her lap
of honour. She slowed almost to a standstill as the line approached
- and then broke the tape in total delight. A great day for
Previously the oldest man to win an Olympic
marathon was age 37 and the oldest woman was age 30. Photo: Constantina Dita Tomescu of
Romania holds her national flag after winning the women's
marathon of the athletics competition during the Beijing
2008 Olympic Games in the National Stadium August 17, 2008.
REUTERS/Dylan Martinez (enlarge
Dita:"I am very happy I got the gold medal, it had
been my dream for years. To tell you the truth, I wasnít expecting
to win. I thought I could reap a medal, but to win? Never.
The world elite was all there, very strong girls, and I had
never expected to defeat them and win the gold medal."
It was an unbelievable race and an unforgettable
moment for Romanian athletics and Constantina herself.
Reuters agency wrote:"Marathon
runners, like fine wines, usually improve with age and Romania's
new Olympic champion Constantina (Dita) Tomescu proved
Dita says: "I was born and grew up in the village
of Turburea. As a child I spent much of my time running after
the cattle and pigs we kept on the farm in the surrounding
hills, but of course that was not for training, (she laughs)
that came later."
"I played handball in my class in High School,
so I didnít get to a professional level. My dream was always
to run. In my last year of school my sports teacher put me
in a race with the guys in my class. I beat them all."
Dita finished third in the 2005 world championships
but she dropped out of the 2003 world championship marathon
and at the 2004 Olympics she faded to finish 20th after a
A a typical training week:
Mon Ė AM 15K, PM 10K
Tues - AM 15 to 20K running in the mountains,
Wed - AM interval training, PM 8K
Thur - AM long run (35-40K), PM rest
Fri - AM 15-20K running in the mountains, PM
Sat - AM intervals, PM 8K
Sun - AM long run, PM rest
The previous world record for the Oldest
Olympic women's marathon winner had been the legendary
Carlos Lopes of Portugal who won the men's marathon in the
1984 Los Angeles Olympics at the age of 37.
Rosa Mota, also from Portugal, previously
was the oldest
women's winner at the age of 30 in the 1988 Seoul,