Belarus’ Dzmitry Hryhoryeu and Ukraine’s Mariya Hudak were triumphant at the Danske Bank Vilnius Marathon winning in 2:26:58 and 2:48:58 respectively on Sunday.
The event will be remembered for a long time by both runners. The 32-year old Hryhoryeu winning in Vilnius after a six-year gap having taken the title in 2011 as well as finishing second in the Lithuanian capital 12 months ago while Hudak, 23, was making her debut over the classic distance.
“For a long time, there was a group of three of us at the front. The last seven kilometres were the hardest but I knew that from having run this race before so I tried to make a move just before then as I knew the other runners be likely to struggle over the last part as well,” reflected Hryhoryeu, after winning by almost two minutes.
“I wasn’t sure whether this was going to be not only my first but last marathon,” joked Hudak. “Now, I’m not so sure. I made my move at 35 kilometres but it was tough, I had to stop three times in the last two kilometres.”
The race, a 5 Star European Athletics Quality Road Race, is the biggest running event in Lithuania and saw just over 14 thousand runners – approximately 10% of the number coming from overseas – enter all the races on the day, including a half marathon and a variety of runs over shorter distances including a ‘#BEACTIVE Vaikų Bėgimas’ (#BEACTIVE running children) race.
The start line for the event is in the picturesque heart of the capital, Cathedral Square, and also takes in the historic old town.
In another 5 Star European Athletics Quality Road Race, local star and 2012 European 5000m silver medallist Ludmila Liakhovich was first woman home in the Minsk half marathon in 1:13:53. Kenya’s Hilary Kimaiyo won the men’s race in 1:03:19.
Organisers estimate that more than 30 000 runners took part from over 50 countries.
The track season is coming to a close and at the Hungarian Team Championships final in Szekesfehervar, there was home success for the nation’s two stars of the summer, world championship medallists Anita Marton and Balazs Baji.
Marton had a double success, taking her main event, the shot put, with 18.19m on Sunday having won the discus on Saturday with 57.28m, while Baji ran 13.74 for victory in the 110m hurdles.
In Plzen on Sunday, Dukla Praha’s men and USK Praha’s women were once more crowned Czech European team champions.
The event was sprinkled with a number of well-known names and good performances, with Petr Svoboda winning the 110m hurdles in 13.61, former European indoor champion Denisa Rosolova finishing first in the 400m in 53.67, her first outdoor race over one lap of the track this year, and Slovakia’s Dana Veldakova reached 13.19m to win the triple jump. In second in the latter event, with 12.93m, was Czech Republic’s European U20 high jump champion Michaela Hruba as she tested her versatility at a different event.
In a superb summer for two of Switzerland’s top U20 athletes, their success continued in Lausanne on Sunday.
Jason Joseph and Yasmin Giger both won gold at the European Athletics U20 Championships in July and they rubber-stamped that glory with victories at the national U20 Championships.
Joseph won the 110m hurdles in 13.32, just 0.07 away from his national junior records and faster than he ran for gold in Grosseto, while Giger won the 400m without the barriers in 53.93.
DecaNation in Angers, France, Jimmy Vicaut won the 100m in 10.05 and Christophe Lemaitre won the 200m with 20.36 as the hosts were second with 103 points and Poland were third with 95 as the USA won with 122.