News03 Oct 2011

With Smarna gora victories, Arslan and Krkoc seal WMRA Grand Prix titles


Defending home turf, Lucija Krkoc prevails on Smarna Gora (© A. Fevzer)

Ahmet Arslan of Turkey and Slovenia's Lucija Krkoc secured the 2011 WMRA Grand Prix titles after their convincing victories at the Smarna Gora Mountain race near the Slovenian capital on Saturday (1).

The race was held for the 32nd time and also served as the WMRA Grand Prix Final. In ideal weather conditions more than 200 competitors from 12 countries competed on the 10 kilometer course which was been changed last year making it a bit longer and less dangerous.

Arslan, this year’s World and European Championships medallist, again proved that he has no competition winning on Smarna gora for the second time and sealing the overall Grand prix title as well. He also set the course new record of 42:02, improving his own record from last year by 27 seconds.

In the woman’s competition Slovene runner Krkoc, with first place both in the Smarna gora race as well as WMRA Grand Prix, confirmed her excellent form. Her motivation was justified - this year she was winning race after race but was unable to finish at this year’s World Championships in Tirana, Albania, due to her health problems. And winning the final Grand Prix race in her homeland was the best comeback possible.

Slovenian brother-sister tandem Mitja and Mateja Kosovelj finished fifth in both the race and the Grand Prix standings.

The Smarna gora race was also the finale of the 2011 Grand Prix competition. Both Arslan and Krkoc had to do their best and finish in top positions if they wanted to win Grand Prix and we had to admit that they showed great performances and didn’t make any mistakes, taking the lead from the start.

In overall placement Lucija Krkoc won with 405 points, followed by Antonella Confortola and Emma Clayton. In the men’s competition Arslan proved his superiority with 407 points. David Schneider and Martin Dematteis took second and third.

This year’s novelties were prizes for the best in the children's competition. The organisers decided to cheer them up with giant chocolate proizes weighing 7 kilograms, more then 15 pounds. Some of the children were even to small to carry the sweet prize from the podium!

Pika Sarf for the IAAF

Leading Results -


1. Ahmet ARSLAN, TUR       42:02.0

2. David SCHNEIDER, SUI     42:34.7

3. Gabriele ABATE, ITA     42:43.6

4. Adam KOVACS, HUN         42:57.6

5. Mitja KOSOVELJ, SLO     43:20.7

6. Alex BALDACCINI, ITA     43:59.3

7. Antonio TONINELLI, ITA  45:02.0

8. Luca CAGNATI, ITA       45:12.1

9. Orlando EDWARDS, GBR     45:47.6

10. Simon ALIC, SLO         46:02.3


1. Lucija KRKOC, SLO         50:34.6

2. Antonela CONFORTOLA, ITA  51:00.6

3. Pavla SCHORNA, CZE         51:41.1

4. Tanja ŽAKELJ, SLO         51:51.3

5. Mateja KOSOVELJ, SLO       52:18.0

6. Lea EINFALT, SLO           52:41.6

7. Emma CLAYTON, GBR         53:30.3

8. Lauren JESKA, GBR         53:42.3

9. Dionne ALLEN, GBR         55:22.7

10. Alison LAVENDER, GBR       57:31.5

2011 Final WMRA Grand Prix Standings -


1. Ahmet ARSLAN, TUR       407 points

2. David SCHNEIDER, SUI   287

3. Gabriele ABATE, ITA     199

4. Martin DEMATTEIS, ITA  190

5. Mitja KOSOVELJ, SLO     184


1. Lucija KRKOC, SLO           405 points

2. Antonella CONFORTOLA, ITA  327

3. Emma CLAYTON, GBR           264

4. Lauren JESKA, GBR           225

5. Mateja KOSOVELJ, SLO       210