Eight Nations on the podium at the 9th European Mountain Running Championships: report.

"Turkey with four gold and two silver, , Italy with two gold, three silver and one bronze together France with one gold and two silver and Romania with one gold and one bronze listened their anthems in Sapareva Banya at the end of the 9th European Mountain Running Championships. Also Russia (one silver and three bronze) and Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Spain and Belgium (all with one bronze) had the honour to see their athletes on the podium.
Host Country Bulgaria lost bronze medals in senior women team for only two points defeated for the third place by Russian Team.
But Bulgarian Athletics Federation with its President, Dobromir Karamarinov, and its staff, can be very satisfied for the event which was really one of best ever organised.
238 athletes, representing 24 countries, started in the four races, in a beautiful sunshine day.
For the first time ever present one athlete from Latvia.
In total the nations participants were: Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Rep., France, Germany, Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Former Republic , of Macedonia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine.
Officials from Norway and Greece were also present at the event. " "
Turkey's Ahmet Arslan took his fourth successive European Mountain Running Championships gold medal stopping the clock in 46.14 (km. 12.2), , ahead two Italian: Martin Dematteis and Marco De Gasperi (European Champion in 2004 and , also second in 2007 and last year, plus five world senior and one world junior titles).
Nevertheless, Italy convincingly retained the men's team title with just 10 points, an honour they have won ever since the championships took their place on European Athletics' programme of events in 2002.
France got the silver medals with 30 points while Spain were third with 38 points.
The senior women's race over 9km also fulfilled pre-race predictions with France's Marie Laure Dumergues, who had shown her form when she won the Grand Ballon race by a big margin, winning in 39:13.
Italy's Valentina Belotti had to settle for second place for the second year in succession, finishing 16 seconds behind her French rival after a thrilling race. Russia's Elena Nagovitsyna was third in 39:44, overtaking Italy's Antonella Confortola about a kilometre from the line.
However, Belotti and Confortola, with third scorer Cristina Scolari in sixth place, helped Italy to a comfortable team victory, defending the title they won in 2009 and scoring just 10 points. France finished second with 37 points, just coming home ahead of Russia who got the bronze medals with 39 points.
The junior categories were introduced in 2007 and they have quickly proved to be a success.
Huseyin Pak continued Turkey's winning streak, runners from the country have won all four junior men's individual titles, when he won the 9km race in 33.15.
Her 16-year-old compatriot Sebhattin Yildrimci finished second in 33:42 while Belgian's Jente Joly was third in 34:09.
Turkey also regained the team title they won in 2007 and 2009 with just 11 points while 2009 team champions Italy were second with 34 points, ahead Great Britain with 35 points.
Romania's 18-year-old Denisa Ionela Dragomir was a clear winner of the junior women's race over 4.6km, winning in 18.28, by 45 seconds from Turkey's Yagmur Tarhan (time 19.13). Third was Russia's Anastasia Mikhaylova in 19.25.
Tarhan had the consolation of leading the Turkish trio to gold medals in the team race, retaining their title after also winning 12 months ago.
Turkey scored six points while Russia finished second with 10 points and Romania got bronze medal finishing third with 12 points.
The health of the sport across Europe can be seen by the fact that in the junior women's race alone seven nations had athletes in the top 8.
The competition had a TV Coverage on live in the national Bulgarian television.
More information can be read on the webpage of the event: www.emrc2010saparevabanya.org.
European Athletics was present with many officials like the Vice President, Svein Arne Hansen (NOR), and the Council members, Janez Aljancic (SLO), Philippe Lamblin (FRA, also Chairman of EA Mountain Running Commission), Salih Munir Yaras (TUR, also EA Delegate to the event) besides, of course, Dobromir Karamarinov (BUL, also President of Bulgarian Athletic Federation).
Many authorities were also present and the most important was Tzvetan Tzvetanov, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Internal Affairs.
Sasho Ivanov, Mayor of Sapareva Banya, was very happy to welcome all these persons like Boris Georgiev - Mokata, first Bulgarian who won a medal in the Olympic Games (bronze medal in boxing, 1952, in Helsinki).
At the end of Championships European Mountain Running Commission formed by Philippe Lamblin (FRA) as Chairman, and by Anna Pichrtova (CZE), Bruno Gozzelino (ITA), Christian Prestegaard (NOR), Tomo Sarf (SLO) and Christoph Seiler (SWI) like members with Ede Rutkovszky, as Cordinator held its annual meeting.
Bulgarian Athletics Federation worked very well receiving congratulations from all the participants.
Finally Dobromir Karamarinov, introduced WMRA President, Bruno Gozzelino, to Radoslav Efrememov, Executive Director in Borovetz, in way to examinee the possibility for the candidature of Bulgarian Athletic Federation for one next World Mountain Running Championships in Bulgaria, probably just in Borovetz, a well known city in the winter sport that could a perfect venue for this kind of competition. , ,
The award prize ceremony ended with the passing of the flag by LOC in Sapareva Banya to next LOC of the 10th European Mountain Running Championships on 9th July 2010 in Bursa, Turkey: this LOC was present at the event with a great promoting staff of the event and another success fro mountain running discipline is announced for the future!

First four photos by LOC.
All the podium of the four categories for teams.

Fifth photo by Rumen Yonkov ,

Tzvetan Tzvetanov, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Internal Affairs, (on the right) with Bruno Gozzelino, WMRA President (in the middle) and Dobromir Karamarinov, BAF President ,(on the left).
 , , ,

Last two photos by LOC: (on left) Mayor of Bursa, LOC of 10th European Mountain Running Championships, ,with EA flag and (on right) Geyzo, mascotte of EA Mountain Running Championships in ,Sapareva Banya, in front of the parade during opening cerimony. , "

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