Mazuronak defies nosebleed, navigation problems to win European marathon title

Mazuronak overcame various problems before finally winning a thrilling marathon

Belarusian Volha Mazuronak overcame a nasty nosebleed and almost getting lost to win a thrilling women's marathon at the European athletics championships in Berlin on Sunday.

The former race walker suffered a nosebleed early in the race which left her with a blood-stained shirt, but managed to stem the flow and continue, only to nearly go the wrong way with only a kilometre to go.

But Mazuronak, 29, won in two hours, 26 minutes and 22 seconds, powering away from France's Clemence Calvin in the final 200 metres after a tense battle to finish six seconds clear.

Czech Eva Vrabcova Nyvltova, who is also a professional cross-country skier, finished third in a new national record of 2:31.31.

Belgian Koen Naert stormed to victory in the men's race, winning in a championship record of two hours, nine minutes and 51 seconds.

The 28-year-old, running his first competitive marathon of the year, held off Swiss Tadesse Abraham by 1min 33sec, as Yassine Rachik took bronze for Italy.

Mazuronak overcame various problems before finally winning a thrilling marathon