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