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Balkan Cross Country Championships

Romania’s Ancuta Bobocel takes U23 gold in Toro thanks to front run (Hasse Sjögren)Romania’s Ancuta Bobocel takes U23 gold in Toro thanks to front run (Hasse Sjögren) © Copyright
Athletes from Serbia ruled the 53rd Balkan Cross Country Championships held in the Turkish town Kocaeli on 1 March. They took top spot in the  medal standings with 4 gold and 2 silver medals.
 
Mirko Petrovic took the men’s crown in 36:15 ahead of Marius Ionescu (Romania) and Fatih Bilgic (Turkey). 
 
Nemanja Cerovac claimed the junior men’s 5.8 Km race.  He virtually sprinted in the last few metres to win in 17:13.  Local guy Cihat Ulus was barely a second slower for the silver.  
 
However, the hosts have something to cheer when Osman Bas romped home in the U23 section, pushing Serbian athlete Dusan Markesevic to second place 23:54 to 23:57.
 
Sonja Stolic, the U23 European championship 10K silver medallist, took a resounding victory in the women’s 5.8 Km race over 2006 European Cross Country bronze medallist and local star Turkan Erismis.  
 
Romania’s European Cross Country Junior and U23 champion Ancuta Bobocel won in the U23 category at Kocaeli.  Bobocel, a prominent steeplechaser with two back-to-back silver medals in World Junior championships of 2004 and 2006, was way ahead of Nilay Esen of Turkey.  
 
Ram. Murali Krishnan for the IAAF
with assistance from Grzegorz Gladzikowski
 
Results:
 
Men (12.05 Km):
1. Mirko Petrovic SRB 36:15,  2. Marius Ionescu ROU 36:36,  3. Fatih Bilgic TUR 36:39,  4. Senaid Hasic BIH 36:41,  5. Velimir Bojovic SRB 36:42,  6. Cristinel Irimia ROU 36:43
Team: 1. Serbia,  2. Turkey,  3. Romania,  4. Greece,  5. Bulgaria,  6. Macedonia   
 
U23 Men (7.7 Km):
1. Osman Bas TUR 23:54,  2. Dusan Markesevic SRB 23:57,  3. Mugdat Ozturk TUR 24:04,  4. Dimcho Mitsov BUL 24:08,  5. A.Haydar Tekgoz TUR 24:13,  6. Ivan Marjanovic SRB 24:19
Team: 1. Turkey,  2. Serbia,  3. Romania,  4. Bulgaria,  5. Greece,  6. Macedonia
 
Junior Men (5.8 Km):
1. Nemanja Cerovac SRB 17:13,  2. Cihat Ulus TUR 17:14,  3. Vedat Gonen TUR 17:18,  4. Hasan Pak TUR 17:19,  5. Yusuf Alici TUR 17:31,  6. Sorin Mineran ROU 17:36
Team: 1. Turkey,  2. Romania,  3. Serbia,  4. Greece,  5. Bulgaria
 
Women (5.8 Km):
1. Sonja Stolic SRB 18:30,  2. Turkan Erismis TUR 18:41,  3. Paula Todoran ROU 18:43,  4. Ana Subotic SRB 18:59,  5. Constantina Kefala GRE 19:05,  6. Ekaterini Assimakopoulou GRE 19:26
Team: 1. Serbia,  2. Greece,  3. Turkey,  4. Romania,  5. Bulgaria
 
U23 Women (4.35 Km):
1. Ancuta Bobocel ROU 13:47,  2. Nilay Esen TUR 14;29,  3. Narin Kahraman TUR 14;30,  4. Roxana Birca ROU 14:31,  5. Elena Moaga ROU 14:47,  6. Cristina Frumuz ROU 14:59
Team: 1. Romania,  2. Turkey,  3. Bulgaria,  4. Greece,  5. Serbia
 
Junior Women (2.9 Km):
1. Bogdana Mimic SRB 9:10,  2. Amela Terzic SRB 9:13,  3. Gulcan Mingir TUR 9:19,  4. Oana Mircea ROU 9:24,  5. Esma Aydemir TUR 9:31,  6. Milena Stoicev SRB 9:32
Team: 1. Serbia,  2. Romania,  3. Turkey,  4. Bulgaria,  5. Greece,  6. Albania