SPORTS: Voyiatzis wins Nicosia marathon

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Demetris Voyiatzis from Greece won the Quantum Nicosia Marathon on Sunday, setting the fastest pace of 2 hours, 44.06 minutes in the 42 km race among 101 runners, with a further 7,500 people of all ages taking part in the half-marathon, the 10-km run and the 5-km run, as well as the charity 1000 metre Unicef race.

Voyiatzis praised the organisers of the event, saying it was of equal standard to many other European events and that he would return in next year’s event as well.
The host Athanassios Ktorides Foundation said that although the initial race was held in 2010, this year’s event has been included in the international marathon race calendar, attracting foreign runners seeking a higher ranking.
However, the public complained about splitting the capital and causing long traffic jams due to the planning of the route that was blocked off to all cars, as people tried to get to the main commercial roads for their Christmas shopping.
Paniccos Stylianou and Michael Keenan, two runners from the local runners’ club Pericles Demetriou, finished second and third, just 20 seconds and 2 minutes 20 seconds, respectively, behind the winner.
Nasos Ktorides, chairman of the host charity and the main sponsors Quantum Energy, who has been the driving force behind the event, finished 51st, while Constantinos Poulios, who won the first unofficial Quantum Nicosia Marathon in 2010, won the half-marathon in 1 hour, 9.40 minutes.
Amelie Willemot from France won the women’s marathon in 3 hours, 24.50 minutes, with local athlete Maria Avraamidou finishing second, while Magdalini Gazea and Heidi Diakomopoulou won the top two places in the women’s half-marathon, followed by Victoria White from the U.K.
Amateur runners, pet-walkers, parents pushing baby carriages and people of all ages seeking a healthier lifestyle took part in the event that started and finished at the Famagusta Gate, a former British military barracks built on a bastion from the Venetian era that created the circular 500-year-old walls of the capital.
One of the runners, Andreas Mavroyiannis, the Cypriot Deputy Minister for European Affairs and Director General of the Cyprus-EU Presidency Office, took part in the 10km run with the number 10001 and finished 243rd with a time of just over one hour.