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Jelena Prokopcuka

[Photo of Jelena Prokopcuka]
JELENA PROKOPCUKA
LATVIA

BIRTHDATE:
21 September 1976

PERSONAL BEST:
2:22:56 (Osaka, 2005) National Record

WORLD MARATHON MAJOR HIGHLIGHTS:

16Apr07 Boston Marathon 2nd 2:29:58
05Nov06 ING New York City Marathon 1st 2:25:05
17Apr06 Boston Marathon 2nd 2:23:48
06Nov05 ING New York City Marathon 1st 2:24:41
07Nov04 ING New York City Marathon 5th 2:26:51
19Apr04 Boston Marathon 4th 2:30:16
12Oct03 The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon 3rd 2:24:53
13Apr03 Flora London Marathon 7th 2:24:01

CAREER NOTES:

A three-time Olympian and multiple Latvian national record-holder, Prokopcuka has garnered a reputation for being a successful closer in the big races while showing tremendous composure and determination. She came from behind to win both Osaka and New York in 2005.

Prokopcuka has her country’s best mark over seven distances: marathon, half marathon, 20K, 10K, 3,000m, 5,000m and 10,000m and has competed in the past three Olympic games on the track (twice each in the 5,000m and 10,000m). In 2005, she improved three national marks with her win in Osaka, her third at the Great North Run Half Marathon (1:08:11) and her second at the BUPA Great Manchester Run 10K in 31:35. Her half marathon highlights include a bronze medal at the World Championships Half Marathon in 2002 (1:09:15); first at the 2003 Paris Half Marathon; second at the 2004 Miyazaki Half Marathon and first at the 2005 Vilamoura Half Marathon.

Pushing Rita Jeptoo to the finish line in Boston in 2006, Prokopcuka lost by just 10 seconds--the closest women's finish in the race's history. A month later she set a national record of 31:33 at the BUPA Great Manchester 10K and then came within one second of that time placing second to Lornah Kiplagat at the Circle of Friends Mini 10K in New York City. Her summer track season included another national record of 30:38.78 at the European Championships 10,000 meters.

Prokopcuka's second consecutive win at the ING New York City Marathon in November and second place at the 2007 Boston Marathon put her into first place for the 2006-07 World Marathon Major title, and after the Flora London Marathon she leads Gete Wami by 15 points and Rita Jeptoo by 20.

PERSONAL NOTES:

Prokopcuka was named Latvia’s Best Sportsperson in 2005 and received an award for the year’s most outstanding contribution to Latvian sport and the Spectators’ Award as the most popular athlete. Coached by husband Aleksander Prokopcuk, the Latvian men's national record holder in the marathon (2:15:56), the couple competed together at Boston in 2004, where Aleksander finished eleventh. The couple resides in the scenic Gulf of Riga resort town of Jurmala but often train in the Algarve region of Portugal in the winter. She likes to watch films, read books and sew.

HIGHLIGHTS:

30Jan05 Osaka International Ladies Marathon 1st 2:22:56
07Apr02 Paris Marathon 5th 2:28:36