At Teteven (Bulgaria) was held the 9th edition of ABAF Mountain Running Championships on last Saturday, 10 June.
Six nations were present: Romania, Turkey, Serbia, FYR of Makedonia, Moldova and hosting country Bulgaria.
More than 60 runners competed in the four races.
Four nations had athletes on the podium; Turkey dominated medal table, but also Romania, Bulgaria and Serbia won medals.
In particular, Turkey took 5 gold, 2 silvers and 4 bronze, so in total 11 medals; Romania won 2 gold and 5 silver, that is 7 medals globally; Bulgaria kept 1 gold, 1 silver and 3 bronze, so it means that Bulgaria gained 5 medals in total and finally also Serbia gained 1 bronze medal.
This important event inside the International Mountain Running Calendar was very well organised by BAF, following a tradition very important in Bulgaria for this discipline of the athletics.
In the junior women race (km. 4,300 +- 290 m.), the top runners finished with a great gap among them: winner was Turkish Bahar Atalay who became Balkan Champion clocked 21 minutes and 44 seconds, in front of Romanian Alexia Hecico (22:05); she was second also in 2016! Third was other Turkish runner Selma Isot (time 23:13).
In the team results, Turkey won gold medal with 8 points, in front of Romania (second with 15 points) and Bulgaria (third with 22 points).
In the junior men race (km. 8,600 +- 580), Balkan Champion 2017 was Turkish Orhan Ozturk who clocked 40 minutes and 49. Podium was totally occupied by Turkish athletes: second arrived was Turkish Kenan Sari with time of 41:01 and third another Turkish runner, Ahmet Alkanoglu who finished race in 42 minutes and 05 seconds.
In the team result, Turkey – of course- dominated and became Balkan Champion 2017 with 6 points. Second finished Romania with 16 points and third Bulgaria with 32 points. In the fourth place was Serbia (35 points).
In the women senior race (km. 8,360: +- 580), the race was similar to junior men race and the first three runners arrived at the finish without any problem for keeping their position.
In fact, the Balkan Champion 2017 was Romanian Denisa Dragomir (several times on the Balkan podium: for sample, last year she was second) who clocked 45 minutes and 27 seconds, in front of the best Bulgarian runner, Marinela Nineva (third last year 2016), with time of 47 minutes and 10 seconds. Third finished Serbian runner, Nevena Jovanovic, who won an important medal for her Nation, with time of 48 minutes and 00 seconds.
In the team results, Bulgaria won Balkan title 2017 and gold medal with 15 points, in front of Romania, silver, with 18 points and Turkey, bronze medal with 27 points.
In the senior men race (km. 12,900; +- 870), Romanian Catalin Atanasoatei confirmed the title 2016, becoming Balkan Champion 2017 clocked time of 59 minutes and 54 seconds, in front of two Turkish runners: Orhan Avci was silver medallist, with a time of 1 hour, 00 minute and 28 seconds and Osman Celik, was bronze medallist, with a time of 1 hour, 01 minutes and 01 second.
In the team result, once more Turkey became Balkan Champion 2017 with 10 points in front of Romania second with 20 points and Bulgaria third with 23 points. Fourth position for FYR of Makedonia with 41 points.
Organisation of the event was very good.
One of the potential candidate for next 10. Balkan Mountain Running Championships 2018 is town of Vrsac, in Serbia.
Edited from Bruno Gozzelino (WMRA President)
Source of the pictures LOC:
on front page:
- Dr. Madlena Boyadzhieva, Mayor of Teteven Municipality proudly awards the Senior Women Teams.