Men's podium at Ponte di Legno, from left: silver medallist Azeria Teklay, winner Petro Mamo, and bronze medallist Andrey Safranov (RUS) (WMRA) © Copyright
General News 4 September 2012 – Ponte di Legno, Italy

11 nations earn medals at WMRA World championships

Ponte di Legno, ItalyA record 40 nations competed in 28th World Mountain Running Championships in Ponte di Legno, Italy on Sunday (2) with 11 countries earning medals in the four events.

The weather was rainy for the two days preceding the race, but race day saw the Vallemonica area host fantastic conditions for mountain running with temperatures between 10-15 degrees C. with just a slight breeze. There were many supporters from the mountain running families of Menici, Agostini, Donati and the team of volunteers hosted a challenging course.

Senior Men's Race (14.1km, +1150m)

The Eritrean team set a fast pace and by 9 km had a commanding lead with Petro Mamo over 20 seconds ahead of team-mate Azeria Teklay (ERI). Andrey Safronov (RUS) was just ahead of Tsige (ERI) and a trio of Italians, which was the order that was maintained at the finish line. The team race was very close between three athletes but with four to count it was Eritrea (17) who took team gold ahead of Italy (31) with Russia (75) taking the bronze medal.

Senior women (8.8 km, +760m)

The women's race saw a return by Andrea Mayr (AUT) running strong to win ahead of a very popular Valentina Bellotti (ITA) from the home venue. Morgan Arritola (USA) took the bronze medal. Sabine Reiner (AUT) impressed the WMRA Grand prix rankings with her 5th individual position. The USA team were the strongest team taking gold with 3 athletes in the top 10 with just 18 points. Second place went to Italy (29) with Switzerland in third (58).

Junior Men (8.8 km , +760m)

The Junior Men's race saw a strong performance from Uganda's Michael Cherop who was chased all the way by Adem Karagoz (TUR). Bronze medal went to Sommez Dag (TUR) just 10 seconds ahead of Moses Kurong (UGA). A popular Nekagenet Crippa (ITA) was 5th. The team race was won by Uganda (13 points) with second place going to Turkey (20) and Italy taking the final podium place.

Junior Women (3.9 km, +310m)

The junior women saw much change in the final kilometre of the 3.9km event. The leader Sevilay Eytemis (TUR) held on for a 39-second victory from a fast finishing Julia Lettl (GER) with 2011 champion Lea Einfalt (SLO) taking the bronze medal ahead of 2012 European champion Annabel Mason (GB). As expected the team competition was very close between Great Britain and Turkey, with the gold medals going to Turkey (9), one point ahead of the British team. Germany (15) took the bronze team medals.

Among those attending the Championships were David Okeyo (KEN), Fidal President Franco Arese and Sean Wallace Jones as IAAF delegates. The WMRA Council were also present, with new honorary member Pierre Weiss (FRA) who was appointed during the WMRA Council meeting before the Championships.

28th WMRA Congress was also held with many important decisions that included updating the WMRA Constitution and the World Mountain Running Championships rules and other aspects for improving the growing the sport of mountain running.

Delegates from over 40 nations were present over the weekend and a strong bid for hosting the 2014 World Championships in Obudu, Nigeria, was made and has been accepted under conditions set by the WMRA. This would make Africa the 5th continent to host the world event for mountain running.

Another important step for this year's championships was doping control with over 50 athletes’ blood tested by anti-doping officials organized from the IAAF. The purpose was to produce blood passports as a baseline for testing at future events.

Next year the 29th WMRA World Mountain Running Championships will be held in Poland on 8. September 2013.

WMRA for the IAAF

NOTE: The delivery of this report was delayed due to technical reasons.