323 athletes coming from 35 Nations from the continent in the world took part at the 32. WMRA World Mountain Running Championships 2016 in Sapareva Banya, Bulgaria.
Top runners fought for eight medals and six Countries were very proud for having listened their national anthem following the victory!
Germany, Czech Rep., Austria and Italy took titles in the female section whilst Uganda and USA took - both - two gold medal each in the male competition.
Medal table showed ten Nations.
Uganda in top position with 2 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze, followed by U.S.A. with 2 gold and 1 bronze. Third was Italy that took five medals in total with 1 gold, 3 silver and 1 bronze. Czech Rep. was fourth with 1 gold and 2 silver. Fifth was Germany with 1 gold and 1 silver. Austria finished sixth with 1 gold. In the order: 7. Mexico with 1 silver and 1 bronze; 8. Frace with 2 bronze and 9. both Turkey and Great Britain and N.I. with 1 bronze each.
Sarah Kistner of Germany won the women's junior title, covering the 3.5km course with an elevation gain of 500m in 22.48: she was junior silver medallist at World Championships in 2014, at Casette di Massa (ITA) and also Junior European Champion last year 2015, Porto Moniz (POR).
Czech Michaela Stranska was second in 23:31; 25 seconds clear of Bronwen Jenkinson of Great Britain (23:56).
Stranska confirmed her silver medal at the World Championships of last year 2015 without forgetting that she won also bronze medal at World Championships 2014 and that she is European Champion 2016 and last year took silver medal at the European Championships.
Agatha Thibert (FRA) was fourth, Barbora Havlikova (CZE) fifth, Nada Balcarczyk (GER) sixth, Rita Mineiro (POR) seventh, Klaudia Pawlus (POL) eighth, Francesca Franchi (ITA) ninght and Verena Streitberger (AUT) tenth.
Stranska, along with Barbora Havlickova, led the Czech squad to the junior team title with 19 points, ahead of Germand and Italy, with 25 and 33 respectively.
51 junior women started and 50 finished. 11 teams were in the final results.
In the junior men’s races, Uganda's runners squad swept the top-three spots to dominate the competition. Joel Ayeko covered the 7.3km course with an elevation gain of 700m/-20m in 33:53, winning by nearly a minute-and-a-half over Victor Kiplangat (time 35:39). Third was their teammate Albert Chemutai who clocked 35:50.
Just behind Ugandan team arrived two strong Turkish (Ramazan Karagoz 4. and Ferhat Bozurt 5.) followed by two Italian (Daniele Pattis 6. and Davide Magnini 7.). Norwegian Stian Overgaard Aaarvik 8., New Zealender Jack Beaumont 9. and Belgian Maximillien Drion Du Chapois completed top ten position.
In the team chase, Uganda dominated with 6 points; Italy was a distant second with 41 points and third finished France with 49 points, the same of U.S.A. team that lost bronze due the fact that third counting runner was 22 instead third counting running for France was 19. Turkey lost a potential medal because its third runner didn’t finish the race due an accident, without conseguences.
65 junior men started and 63 finished. 15 teams were in the final results.
Austrian mountain running sensation Andrea Mayr won a sixth women's senior title to highlight the 32nd WMRA World Mountain Running Championships in Sapareva Banya, Bulgaria.
Mayr covered the 7.3km course with a 700m elevation gain in 39:04, well ahead of Italy's Valentina Belotti, who clocked 40:47. Christel Dewalle of France was third, clocking 41:05.
Mayr, the Austrian record holder in the half marathon and marathon, seems to be at her best when competing in the mountains in even years. The 37-year-old has won the crown every other year since her first in 2006. In total Mayr won 6 gold medal plus 1 silver and 1 bronze at the World Championships, besides she gained also 3 gold medals, 1 silver and 1 bronze at European Championships.
At Sapareva Bany, in the top ten arrived also two Slovakian (Sona Vnencakova, 4. and Silvia Schwanger 6.), one Czechian (Petra Novakova, 5.), two Italian (Alice Gaggi 7. and Sara Bottarelli 8.), one U.S.A. (Kim Nedeau, 9.) and one British (Atti Archer, 10.)
Belotti, the winner in 2009 and twice silver in 2010 and 2012, lead Italy to a comfortable victory in the team race with 17 points. The Czech Republic was second with 32. The USA was third with 36, just one ahead of Great Britain.
67 senior women started and finished. 13 teams were in the final results.
Joe Gray of the US, in his ninth consecutive appearance on the US Mountain Running Team, ran for an impressive victory nearly two minutes ahead of his nearest competitor.
Gray covered the demanding 12.7-kilometer course, which boasted 1,468 meters of climbing and 107 meters of descent, in a time of 1:02:13, followed by Mexico’s Israel Morales, second, in 1:03:52, and the six-time European champion, Ahmet Arslan of Turkey, third, in 1:04:49.
It is possible to tell that Joe Gray “lead from start to finish”: this because, Gray was passed in the final 1000 meters by Ugandan runner Robert Chemonges who cut the finish line in the first position but who was disqualified for a pacing violation (rule 144. 3-a).
In the top ten finished two other US runner (Hayden Hawks 4. and Brett Hales 7.), one Ugandan (Filex Chemonges 5.) and four Italian (Bernard Dematteis 6., Martin Dematteis 8., Alex Baldaccini 9. and Xavier Chevrier, 10.)
Despite this situation with all the four Italian counting runners in the top ten, in a heated battle, USA edged mountain running powerhouse Italy by a single point with 32 point. Italy was second with 33 points. Mexico was third with 69.
140 senior men started and 137 finished. 22 teams were in the final results.
The Championships was organised very well by BAF and its President, Dobromir Karamarinov, was present at the event together Mayor of Sapareva Banya and many other political persons.
At the end of the closing ceremony WMRA President, Bruno Gozzelino, together IAAF rapresentant, Carlos Cardoso, passed the WMRA flag to FIDAL Council Member, Giacomo Leone, and to a team of Premana Athletic Club, LOC of next 33rd World Mountain Running Championships 2017 at Premana (Lecco), Italy on Sunday 30th July 2017.
Pictures of the event at the following address: http://saparevabanya2016.info/gallery/
Edited from Bruno Gozzelino (WMRA President)
Source of the pictures (first four by Patrizia Longo and last by Deni Mileva):
on front page:
- Mayr, Champion senior women;
on second page:
- Kistner, Champion junior women;
- Ayeko, Champion junior men;
- Gray, Champions senior men;
- pass the flag to LOC W. Ch. 2017.