Triple joy for Pereira

Triple joy for Pereira
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Solange Pereira here competing in the SPAR European Cross Country Championships in Velenje 2011.

Solange Pereira made it three wins in a row as Spain celebrated a double victory at the XXVIII International Mile Berango on Saturday.

Pereira triumphed in the women’s race in 5:05 as compatriot Carlos Alonso broke the men’s record in 4:27.

Just four seconds separated the leading four in the women’s race in this European Athletics Road Area Permit event with Pereira creating enough of a gap to secure her hat-trick of titles.

She won by two seconds from two fellow Spaniards, Elian Periz (5:07) and last year’s runners-up, Iris Fuentes-Pila (5:08). Poland’s European 800m bronze medallist Joanna Jozwik (5:09) was fourth.

A thrilling sprint finish saw Alonso achieve a fine win as he beat fellow Spaniard Manuel Olmedo, the 2011 European Indoor 1500m champion.

But it was so close, with Alonso taking the title by just a second with the runners-up even hard to separate, as Olmedo and fellow countryman Daniel Arce were both given the same time, 4:28.

A record 11,000 runners in all the races celebrated the 92nd International Kosice Peace Marathon and new Slovakian champion is Silvia Sebestian (3:01:12) after she was fourth as Ethiopian Mulu Diru won (2:35:33) while the men’s national champion is Juraj Vitko (2:25:01), who was eighth behind Kenyan winner Samuel Kosgei (2:07:07).

Kenya's Samuel Kiplimo Kosgei won the Kopice Peace Marathon in 2:07:07 on Sunday 4 October. (Photo by event organisers)
European Athletics
Kenya's Samuel Kiplimo Kosgei won the Kopice Peace Marathon in 2:07:07 on Sunday 4 October. (Photo by event organisers)


The Kosice Peace Marathon is considered as the oldest road race in Europe and has been certified as a 5-Star Quality Road Race by European Athletics Running for All.

Back in 2012 in Budapest, Italy’s Andrea Lalli won the SPAR European Cross Country title and in Telese Terme on Sunday he was on top of the podium again with victory in the inaugural Telesia half-marathon.

His win (1:02:54) also crowned him the national champion as he beat Kenya’s William Kibor (1:03:30) and another Italian, Domenico Ricatti (1:03:39).

There was success for the hosts in the women’s race, too, as Laila Soufyane (1:13:10) was first from Rwanda’s Claudette Mukasikindi (1:14:24) with Italian junior Nicole Reina, 18, in third (1:14:42).

Talking of the SPAR European Cross Country Championships, the defending women’s senior champion, Gemma Steel, was third over the half-marathon at the Great Scottish Run.

She ran her second best time at the distance (1:09:56) behind Kenya pair Edna Kiplagat (1:08:21) and Doris Changeiywo (1:09:50). Britain’s European 10,000m champion Jo Pavey (1:09:58) was fourth followed by Portugal’s Sara Moreira (1:10:23), who is heading to New York next month for the marathon where a year ago she was third on her debut at the distance.

In Cardiff, another Briton, Jess Coulson, who won the under-23 European cross title in Budapest 2012, was crowned British half-marathon champion on her debut at the distance (1:11:34) behind Kenyans Lenah Jerotich (1:11:29) and Demaris Areba (1:11:31).

The 12th Bilotserkivskyy International Marathon proved a good occasion for Olympic qualifying standards for the home athletes with Rio on their mind.

Ihor Olefirenko broke his personal best to win these national Ukrainian championships in 2:12:04 from Oleksandr Sitkovskyy (2:12:20), while Olha Kotovska (2:35:36) beat Svitlana Stanko (2:40:05) in the women’s race, both inside the Olympic mark.

Estonia’s Tiidrek Nurme won the 4th Tartu half-marathon in (1:07:04) and in the Caribbean setting of Fort-de-France, Yosi Goasdoue (1:09:34) and Aline Camboulives (1:20:12) became the French national champions at the distance (Kenya’s Susan Kipsang won the women’s race in 1:18:24).