Gerard Nijboer of Holland returned from serious injury to win the mens' marathon at the European Athletics Championships on September 12.
GV EXTERIOR Start of marathon (2 shots)
GV Band playing as contestants line up and start (2 shots)
SV Crowd looking on as women's begins (3 shots)
GV Holland's Gerard Nijboer finished first inside Athens stadium
GV Gelgium's Armand Parmentier comes in second SV Crowd (2 shots)
SV Nijboer congratulated by colleagues (2 shots)
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Background: Gerard Nijboer of Holland returned from serious injury to win the mens' marathon at the European Athletics Championships on September 12. Nijboer, silver medallist at the Moscow Olympics in 1980, was almost written-off six months ago suffering from a crippling knee injury. But running his first marathon since then, Nijboer covered the course from the old town of Marathon to the Athens stadium in 2 hours 15 minutes and 17 seconds. The Dutchman, who has been receiving acupuncture treatment, was 23 seconds ahead of Armand Parmentier of Belgium, with another Belgian Karel Lismont, third. Nijboer's win gave Holland their first gold medal in the championships since 1962. A part-timer social worker, Nijboer was in more danger from the 300,000 crowd who lined the route from ancient town of Marathon, than from his rivals. Spectators threatened to engulf him and often hindered his running. The womens' marathon was won by Rosa Mota of Portugal, recorded a time of 2 hours 36 minutes and 3 seconds. The event brought the championships to a close, with the final medal table showing East Germany: 13 gold medals, West Germany, 8 golds; Soviet Union, 6 golds; and Britain 3 golds.