Tatjana Mannima tries to repeat Raul Olle's achievement
Tatjana Mannima on the left. Photo: Tarmo Haud
44th Tartu Maraton's Sunday's elite group's race's biggest favorites among men are Toni Livers and Candide Pralong from Switzerland. One of the main favorites among women in the 34 kilometer elite race is Tatjana Mannima, who earlier has won Tartu Maraton twice.
Mannima, who has mainly focused on marathon skiing in previous years, could become the second skier after Raul Olle, who has won three victories of Tartu Maraton. "I try to give my best to take the victory. A lot of depends on decisions. For example, I decided not to go and pass through the competition merely with double poling," said Mannima. She added that the biggest competitors for her is the leader of Worldloppet Cup, Aurelie Dabudyk from France, and Seraina Boner from Switzerland.
In men's competition, the main winning contenders are swiss contestants. Candide Pralong, the leader of the Worldloppet Cup, is taken as for race's main favorite. "Regarding to the last marathon, my shape should be pretty good. It is my first time at Tartu Maraton and I am happy that the race takes place," told Pralongi. But maybe the most noted name at the start is Pralongi's compatriot Toni Livers, who has one stage win from Davos' World Cup and who is also going to the Lahti's WCH marathon and relay.
The best prospects for high place among Estonian men should be for Martti Himma, who has won both of the Estoloppet Cup's stages. "I actually haven't set myself any goals. And you can't know in mass-start races, what is going to happen. I just try to stay in the group and we'll see, how it goes," said Himma.
Race director Indrek Kelk said that this year's Tartu Maraton has the best conditions of history for the spectators. "Contestants are all together in one small 6 kilometer lap. Figuratively speaking, it is the World Cup for amateurs," he said.
Women's elite race's start will be given at Tehvandi's stadium at 8.55 am on Sunday, men's start 5 minutes later. The races' live broadcast can be seen from Tartu Maraton's webpage.