Belgraders rejoice in City Marathon

BELGRADE -- With supporters lined up in the streets, The 20th Belgrade BANCA INTESA Marathon started 10 a.m. today.

Belgrade 2007 Banca Intesa Marathon starts (FoNet)
Belgrade 2007 Banca Intesa Marathon starts (FoNet)

This year’s marathon has gathered elite runners from around fifteen countries, several thousand marathoners and half marathoners and tens of thousands of Belgraders.

Two Kenyan runners swept the main race, as John Maluni managed to win the race in 2 hours, 11 minutes and 53 seconds, beating Nicholas Chelimo of Kenya by just 3 seconds.

Serb runner Olivera Jevtić won the women's race in 2:35:46. This was her 11th marathon race in her very successful athlete career. She also won EUR 5,000 for her top notch running performance.

The promoters and special guests of Belgrade 2007 marathon included long jump world record-holder Mike Powell and long jump legend  Bob Beamon.

They were officially received by prime minister Vojislav Koštunica Thursday, the government reported on its web site.

Koštunica said that the presence of Powell and Beamon in Serbia was a big event for all sport fans and athletes in the country.

The prime minister stressed that everyone remembered 1991 when Powell set the world record at the World Championship in Tokyo, and added that Beamon’s record set in 1968 in Mexico was especially memorable, since no one managed to top his score for 23 years.

Powell and Beamon said at the meeting that they received a warm welcome in Belgrade and underscored that Serbia was known all over the world for the exceptional achievements of its sportsmen.