Eritrean Tekle Yossief and Italian Alica Gaggi winners at Smarna Gora 2013, final G.P. race.
A fantastic finale to the 15th WMRA GP final unfolded in this superb race as the competing athletes for the race podium and final rankings in the Grand Prix battled hard for positions.
The traditional pre-event dinner to the International Smarna Gora race hosted on Friday evening by The LOC and presided over by event organiser Tomo Sarf was attended by many of the top contenders for this famous mountain race on Saturday.
Great friendships and old rivalries were renewed in a wonderful welcoming atmosphere which set the scene for the final of the WMRA Grand Prix series of International Mountain Races for 2013 on the beautiful mountain of Smarna Gora set on the edge of Ljublijana.
In the men's race there was revenge for the Eritrean runners, making no mistakes this time as they pulled away from last years race winner Alex Baldaccini (ITA) of Italy in the second part of this tough race.
Younger of the two Eritrean athletes Tekle Yossief, winner of the World Championships Junior race held here in Kamnik, Slovenia 2010, pulled away from his friend and compatriot Eritrean Teklay Azeria to win the race in a time of 41m 37s just 5 seconds off last years record.
Baldaccini could not keep with the pace of the Eritrean duo and had to settle for third place on the podium.
In the women's race the top two places were taken by two giants in the World of mountain running.
The race was won by recently crowned WMRA World Mountain Running Champion 2013 Alice Gaggi (Italy) in a time of 49m 58s and second with a strong finish was taken by Gaggi's Italian team mate Antonella Confortola (Italy) the 2013 WMRA World Long Distance Mountain Running Champion.
Last years race winner Mateja Kosovelj (Slovenia) fought hard to follow the two Italian runners and achieved a well deserved third placed medal position.
Amongst the strong Junior Men Andrei Leanca of Roumania set a new record finishing in a time of 47m 15s whilst local Slovenian runner and former WMRA World Junior Ladies Champion Lea Einfelt mixed it amongst the top senior ladies finishing in a time of 53m 55s.
The overall top position in the final rankings of the WMRA Grand Prix 2013 rankings once again went to Teklay Azeria of Eritrea, second position went to Italian runners Baldaccini and third to Abate.
The top ranked lady this year was top Slovenian athlete Mateja Kosovelj who has worked extremely hard to achieve this position in the last few years.
Kosovelj was fifth overall two years ago and finished third overall in last year's competition. Italian Antonella Confortolla finished second overall proving what a fantastic all round athlete and mountain runner she is. The third position was taken by the race winner Alice Gaggi from Italy.
Edited from Adrian WOODS (WMRA)
Source of the pictures: LOC
On front page:
- Alice Gaggi
on secon page
- Tekle Yosseif;
- Tekle, Azeria and Baldaccini in downhill part;
- Mateja Kosovelj, G.P. winner 2013