Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) Kenyan runners came first and second as Baghdad’s international half marathon concluded on Saturday, Alsumaria News reported.
Kenya’s runners won first and second places at the end of the marathon which launched Saturday morning from Baghdad International Airport and Jadiriya Bridge region to Abu Nawas street, with three tracks of different distances-the longest is 21 kilometers- for men and women that converge at the same ending point.
The marathon witnessed the participation of athletes from 24 Arab and non-Arab countries, and was attended by the governor of Baghdad and the minister of youth.
Algeria came sixth but first among Arabs, followed by Sudan, according to Alsumaria News’s report.
Youth Minister Abdul-Hussein al-Abtan said the marathon “conveys a message that Iraqis love sports and yearn to practice it in defiance of any circumstances”.
Jalil al-Rubaie, commander of Baghdad Security Operations, said the event serves to emphasize that Baghdad “enjoys security and peacefulness”, as he put it, adding that security services thoroughly secured the marathon’s track to ensure the event’s success.
The marathon comes as Iraq struggles to fight Islamic State insurgency since the group emerged in 2014. Baghdad has witnessed almost daily bombings claimed by the group since then, leaving thousands of civilians and security workers dead and wounded.