08 November Sunday

Mayor Imamoğlu: "Marathon is a Reflection of Istanbul's Olympic Spirit"

For the first time in its history, this year, the 42nd N Kolay transcontinental Istanbul Marathon was run from the European side of the city onto the Asian side.

Instead of the usual course that started with an intercontinental run on the 15th of July Martyrs Bridge on the Anatolian (Asian) side, this year, the 42nd N Kolay transcontinental Istanbul Marathon started from the Yenikapı Event Area, which allows all participants to take full health and hygiene measures.

Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu came to the starting point of the marathon with his wife Dilek İmamoğlu and his son Semih İmamoğlu.

The race was kicked off by Mr. Niyazi Erten, Deputy Governor of Istanbul; Mrs. Canan Kaftancıoğlu; Istanbul provincial chair of the opposition party (CHP); Mr. İzzet Renay Onur, General Manager of Sports Inc.; Fatih Çintımar, President of the Turkey's Athletics Federation, along with Mr. Serdar Sumer, CEO of Aktif Bank and Race Sponsor.

It also included a race for skating and wheelchair-bound participants. First the skating and wheelchair races were started, respectively.

Before the start of the 42-km Elite Men and Women marathon, a minute's silence was held at the starting point in memory of the 114 victims of Izmir’s earthquake.

Speaking before the race, Mayor Imamoğlu stated that the Istanbul Transcontinental Marathon is a worldwide organization. Expressing his gratitude to the people, institutions and organizations who contributed to the organization, mayor İmamoğlu said, "In such a beautiful organization, all precautions regarding Covid 19 have been observed. Of course, we would love to start this race on the bridge with hundreds of thousands of Istanbulites this year. But the world and our country are going through such a difficult process. I hope we will give the same start with hundreds of thousands in our Istanbul, which has overcome all its problems, next year. We would like to thank all our guests who participated, our Istanbul parliamentarians, our CHP provincial chairman and all our friends."

“Today, I think this marathon is a reflection of the Olympic spirit of Istanbul. Istanbul deserves the Olympics more than any other city. Because. Istanbul is a city with a sports culture we can be proud of. The most beautiful symbol of this is Istanbul Marathon itself. I hope more than anything that we will win the Olympics one day in the near future, I say we can do it," Mayor Imamoğlu added.

The marathon started at 9 a.m. local on the European side of Istanbul, and ended at the same point.

It was held with a limited number of athletes -- a total of 4,000 runners -- due to measures taken to stem the spread of coronavirus.

The starting point was the Yenikapi event venue instead of the July 15 Martyrs Bridge on the Asian side.

The runners passed the bridge, getting a spectacular view of the Bosphorus and many historic sites including the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia.

They crossed the Bosphorus bridge twice for the first time in the event's history.

Kenyan runners Benard Cheruiyot Sang and Diana Chemtai Kipyogei won the 42nd Istanbul Marathon on Sunday.

Sang finished the 42 km run in 2 hours, 11 minutes, and 49 seconds in the men's category, while Kipyogei completed the path in 2 hours, 22 minutes and 6 seconds in the women's race.

Felix Kimutai, another Kenyan runner, trailed 11 seconds behind Sang, whereas Zewudu Hailu Bekele from Ethiopia came third, 34 seconds behind the leader in the men's race.

Benard Cheruiyot Sang, the champion in the men's category, received his trophy and award from the Imamoğlu couple.

In the women's category, Ethiopia's Hiwot Gebrekidan came second, covering the distance in 2 hours, 24 minutes, and 30 seconds. She was followed by Tigist Memuye from Ethiopia in 2 hours, 37 minutes and 52 seconds.

A Turkey championship was also held as part of the marathon. Yavuz Agrali came first in 2 hours, 19 minutes and 23 seconds in the men's category, while Tubay Erdal finished in the first place in 2 hours, 41 minutes and 11 seconds in the women's competition.

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