20 September Sunday

IMM Athletes Dominate Istanbul Semi-Marathon

The Vodafone Istanbul Half Marathon - among the top eight marathons in the world - was held for the 15th time on Sunday, September 20, 2020.

Athletes from Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Sports Club (İBBSK) Sezgin Atac and Fatma Demir clinched the Istanbul Half Marathon, an annual road running event that hosted 47 elite athletes this year.

Sezgin Atac finished 21 km run in 1 hour, 3 minutes and 16 seconds in the men's category, while Fatma Demir completed the same distance in 1 hour, 13 minutes and 17 seconds in the women's race.

The race was kicked off by Mr. Can Akın Çağlar, the Secretary-General of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IMM); Mr. Yasin Taş, Vice President of Turkey Athletics Federation; Mr. Mahir Polat and Mr. Arif Gürkan Alpay, the Deputy-Secretary Generals of the IMM; Mr. İzzet Renay Onur, General Manager of Sports Inc.; Ms. Banu Saraçlar, General Manager of İSPER Inc.; Mr. Ibrahim Edin, General Manager of UGETAM Inc.; Mr. Fatih Keleş, President of IMM Sports Club; Mr. Erdem Aslanoğlu, Secretary General of IMM Sports Club and Mr. İlker Öztürk, the Director of Youth and Sports for the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IMM).

It took place at the historical peninsula in Istanbul with the participation of 2,500 athletes on a single track due to measures related to the coronavirus pandemic.

The race was organized by the telecoms operator and Spor Istanbul Inc., an affiliate company of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. Athletes competed according to the criterias listed in the “Coronavirus Event-Planning Guide,” published by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The Istanbul Half Maraton was promoted to the IAAF Gold Label status and it was run under the theme of “Run 4 Environment”.

The semi-marathon course started from Yenikapı Event Area continues from Kumkapı, Sarayburnu, Sirkeci direction and continues towards Eminönü, Unkapanı, Fener, Balat, Ayvansaray and Feshane direction, and returns to the opposite direction from Eyüp intersection and ends at the starting point of Yenikapı finishing line.

Sezgin Ataç from Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Sports Club (İBBSK) came first in men’s race with 1 hour, 3 minutes and 16 seconds. With this degree, he became the “10th fastest Turkish athlete in all times.” Adel Mechaal came second with 1 hour, 3 minutes and 25 seconds and Benard Cheruiyot Sang came third with 1 hour, 3 minutes and 51 seconds.

Atac told the reporters that Turkish athletes should be valued. "They deserve the best," he said. "If given the opportunity, we will perform even better."

Fatma Demir also from Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Sports Club (İBBSK) was crowned champion in the women’s category with her time of 1 hour, 13 minutes, 17 seconds, Demir was followed by Daisy Jepto Kimeli with 1 hour, 13 minutes, 29 seconds and Esma Aydemir with 1 hour, 15 minutes, 40 seconds.

The race was held in accordance with social distancing rules due to the coronavirus pandemic.

While there were a limited number of athletes on a single track, athletes took off their masks at 20, 200 and 1000 meters, and were given new ones in the end.

The runners and employees entered the field with the HES code, a system designed to minimize the virus risk. People who have been exposed to COVID-19 can be prevented from participating in public transportation through a mobile app.

Only Turkish citizens and foreigners who live in Turkey participated in the event.

Those competed in the public run started at five-second intervals.

Vodafone was the main sponsor of the race organized by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality’s Spor Istanbul subsidiary.

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