Kenyan runners win Belgrade international marathon

Belgrade: Kenya`s Mary Pitkani and James Barbasai won the 25th Belgrade International marathon.

This year`s marathon and half marathon, which saw 2,328 competitors participating, broke the 2005 record of 1,833 competitors.

Barbasai finished in two hours, 16 minutes and one second, six minutes ahead of countrymen Henry Kemboi, who was second in 2:22:54. Fellow Kenyan Charles Kiprono Rotich was third in 2:23:12.

"I run many races in Kenya, so I decided to run in this one too and here I am winning it. This is my second time in Europe," Barbasai told Xinhua after the race.

"Because the sun was very hot, I couldn`t run my best time," he added.

Pitkany won the women`s race in 2:42:47. Esra Gullu from Turkey followed nearly 15 minutes later in 2:57:07, while Slovenia`s Vanja Supic was third in 3:26:48.

"It was a very hard race really," said Pitkani, "because I was running alone and nobody to assist and to run with. It sometimes doesn`t feel good."

The `Fun Run`, the five-km-long run started five minutes later with over 20,000 participants. They included Serbian Democratic Party presidential candidate Boris Tadic and former deputy prime minister Bozidar Delic and Belgrade Deputy Mayor Aleksandar Sapic.