Press release & photos from Federació andorrana d’atletisme, Athletics Federation from Andorra.
The World Mountain Running Association (WMRA) world championships were held for the first time in Andorra. Canillo has been the host city parish, hosting the 4 races of the world championships (senior, male and female and junior, male and female), where 39 countries and 320 athletes have finally participated, becoming the most active edition of the 34 years of history.
This year, the championships dispute the “vertical” mode. The Andorran Athletics Federation organizes this competition with the support of the WMRA and the IAAF. Runners, team leaders and a lot of public have enjoyed a day with good temperature and sun up Andorra’s mountains.
The race has started at El Forn de Canillo, in Grandvalira’s winter resort, with 7’35 kilometers and a drop of 576m. The trail had fast parts and step zones, with the end at the Pic of the Maians, at 2,432m altitude. The race was the same for the junior women, with start at 9:15, and for the junior men, with start at 10h. The Ugandans Risper and Dan Chebet were the winners, with a time of 41’19 “and 35’49”
At the same time that the junior men’s race started at El Forn, the senior women race has the shot in front of Comú de Canillo.
With a climb of 1,028m ahead and 11’93km of race, Kenyan Lucy Wambui has revalidated the world title (although in the 2017 edition it was “up & down” mode) with 1h04’55”. In men’s competition, Ugandan Robert Chemonges has stopped the watch at 55’37”
It has been in the category most fought with silver medal only one second after (55’38”) for also Ugandan Joel Ayeko. Victor Kiplangat (UGA) completed the senior male podium.
Team world championships have gone to Uganda in senior men’s and both junior categories. Kenya has been the winner in senior women’s teams.
The new president of the WMRA, Jonathan Wyatt, has valued positively this first experience in Andorra: “The fact that the country is so small is an advantage for moving. In addition, being able to host many teams in the same hotel, create community, something very important for the World Mountain Running Association. We have enjoyed a splendid day, which has allowed us to enjoy the mountains and the views we had upon arrival.”
The president of the Andorran Athletics Federation, Bernat Vilella, emphasized that “it was the first time we organized an event so great. We worked hard, we suffered, but at the end everything went well. We had expectations and we had passed them. We’d like to organize another event in the future.”
Carles Font, the race director, has explained that when he began to create the route with the delegate of the WMRA, Mr. Tomo Sarf, “some voices considered us crazy. We have managed to create demanding races for world championships level”
As economic valuation, the cònsol menor de Canillo, David Palmitjavila, mentioned that events like this permit extending the summer season, as well as showing the resources and organizational capacity to the 39 countries that come to participate, with the repercussion that this implies.”
Technical file of the senior and junior routes