The Sky discipline represented the third and final stage of the 2019 Skyrunning European Championships today where the Combined and National titles were awarded at the International Veia SkyRace® in Piedmont, Italy.
The winners and gold medallists were Spain’s Jan Margarit and Denisa Dragomir from Romania. Margarit lead the men’s race from start to finish and crushed the record in a time of 2h53’57”. “I didn’t expect to win. I’m so happy to get this gold medal because in the first part I wasn’t feeling too good, but in the second half I felt fresh and I was able to push really hard,” said Margarit. The men’s silver went to Switzerland’s Roberto Delorenzi who placed third in the race, after Moroccan Elhousine Elazzaoui.
Delorenzi commented, “I know this course really well and I think this gave me an advantage. I was in the lead group and after the first climb I pushed. I overtook Jakob Herrmann on the downhill and tried to catch Jan Margarit, but I was passed by Elazzaoui. Anyway, I’m happy with my performance and thrilled for the silver medal.” In fourth position, the bronze went to an ecstatic Zaid Ait Malek who recently acquired Spanish citizenship.
The women’s race was also strongly lead from the start by Dragomir but a battle ensued at the summit with Marcela Vasinova from the Czech Republic. Dragomir got the best of it and closed just 3” short of her own record in 3h23’30”. “I’m so happy and astonished by this victory! The level was so high this time I feared I couldn’t do it, but I gave my all and I did it! It feels incredible to win this race for the fifth time!” she said.
Sweden’s Fanny Borgström was a close second five minutes later, taking the silver. “I was really impressed by the race. The scenery is spectacular as well as the course and the level was so high! I’m very happy to win this medal – a result I didn’t dare to dream of.” Just one minute off Borgström was Spain’s Ainhoa Sanz who took the bronze.
Veia – the “Smugglers’ Trail” hosts the Sky
The International Veia SkyRace®, also known as the “Smuggler’s Trail”, hosted both the Vertical and Sky disciplines on September 5 and 7. The SkyRace® is 31 km long with 2,600m vertical climb along paths, ridges, moraine and, with fixed ropes, is a true skyrunning course. It summits at 2,450m altitude where the surrounding 4,000m snow covered peaks in Switzerland design the skyline. 166 athletes from 22 countries took part with Official Teams from 19 countries.
The Sky medallists
European Skyrunning Championships – Sky
MenGold: Jan Margarit (ESP) – 2h53’57” Silver: Roberto Delorenzi (SUI) – 2h57’25” Bronze: Zaid Ait Malek (ESP) – 2h59’17”
WADA anti-doping tests were carried out by the ISF.
Alessandro Bragoni,International Veia SkyRaceorganiser, commented, “We were honoured to have been selected to organise the European Championships. We bet on our team and the Federation bet on us. It was an occasion to grow our organisation and learn from the ISF. We’re thrilled with the results!”
Overall, 480 athletes from 24 countries participated in the three events with 19 Official National Teams. Underlining the quality of the field, all 19 countries earned points.
The biennial Skyrunning European Championships have come to a close. After last Sunday’s launch at the gruelling Maga Ultra SkyMarathon for the Ultra discipline, Thursday’s Vertical and today’s Sky, it’s now time to look forward to the Asian Championships to be announced shortly and, as always, it’s a case of – Less cloud. More Sky!