In a city dubbed ‘the sportiest city in France’ a record 15 countries participated in the 10th WMRA International Youth Cup in Gap on 7 July with Turkey coming out on top in both races.
The sun was shining brightly with temperatures rising to nearly 26°C by the 10:30am start of the junior women’s 2.55km race.
Thirty-seven women competed on a course which started in an open meadow and climbed through the forest over mountain paths with Turkish runner Burcu Subatan leading after the first checkpoint some 300m into the race until the finish.
During the first two kilometres, the second and third positions changed between athletes from Turkey, Russia, Poland and Wales. At the finish it was Subatan who won in 13:24, followed 14 seconds later by Poland’s Magdalena Dias. Rounding out the top three podium spots was Georgia Garner of Wales in 13:47.
With 20 points, Turkey earned the team gold medal. In silver position was Poland with 24 points, and with 36 points, Russia took bronze. There were 11 teams in the junior women’s division.
The junior men’s race followed with 44 competitors racing over 5.3km. After the first loop of 1.4km, Turkey’s Ridvan Yilmaz was already creating a gap over the field. He went on to increase his lead to nearly one minute by the finish.
The race for second and third see-sawed between Turkey’s Onur Aras and Italy’s Davide Magnini. At the finish it was Yimaz in 23:53 followed by fellow countryman Aras in 24:46. Magnini placed third in 24:55.
With the strong one-two finish, Turkey won the team title with 17 points. In second was England with 29 points led by James Hall who finished in fourth. With 38 points, the French team won the bronze medal with their first scoring runner Mehdi Frere finishing in sixth. There were 13 teams finishing the junior men’s race.
This was the first appearance at the WMRA International Youth Cup by runners from France, Hungary, and The Netherlands.
Presenting medals were Pierre Weiss, Tomo Sarf, Bashir Hussain and Nancy Hobbs from the WMRA while trophies were presented by the Local Organizing Committee.
WMRA (Nancy Hobbs) for the IAAF