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Inline Marathon Champion Luca Saggiorato in Berlin: The ‘Wimbledon Winner’

One of the top inline skaters who likes to have a good laugh is the Italian Luca Saggiorato. The 22-year old won the real,- BERLIN-MARATHON, even though he made rugged contact with the asphalt 15 kilometres before the finish—and that at an average speed of more than 40 kph. "You just don’t know how to skate right,” he had to take from his fellow countryman Massimiliano Presti. “Right,” he countered, “and you had to be satisfied with third place behind me.”

Great praise for the real,- BERLIN-MARATHON

Luca Saggiorato also had great praise for the real,- BERLIN-MARATHON for inline skaters: “This is the best race I know of in the whole world.” He felt his way carefully to this year’s victory: “After taking second place last year, the success this year was only logical.”

One question remains, however: Why was the one-hour-barrier not broken this year, even though the external conditions were as good as they get? Luca Saggiorato comments: “It is not so that the one-hour-barrier has not yet been broken. Two years ago at the European Championships in Padua, the champion last year in Berlin, Roger Schneider, broke this wall. But when 71 skaters arrive at the finish after 42.195 km with times under 62 minutes, you have to admit this was an extremely fast race, even if the one-hour-barrier remained untouched.”

Comparable with the success of a tennis player in Wimbledon

The champion added in explanation: “A race with the importance of the real,- BERLIN- MARATHON is decided through tactics. You want to win in Berlin because it means you have beaten the entire ranks of the world elite skaters. For speed skaters,  a win in Berlin is comparable with the success of a tennis player in Wimbledon."

Hanspeter Detmer