BELGRADE – Kenya’s Abel Kibet Rop and Stella Barsosio triumphed in the men’s and women’s marathon races at the 2016 Belgrade Marathon on Saturday.

Rop’s time was two hours and 24 minutes, and his countryman Moses Kipruto Kibire joined him as second nearly five minutes later (2:28:50), while Hungary’s Tamas Nagy finished third in 2:36:20.

I am hapy about the victory, this is my second participation in the marathon here and my first victory. The conditions were very difficult as the temperature was very high, Rop told Tanjug after the race.

Barsosio won the women’s race with a time of 2:43:41, and was followed by her compatriot Hellen Kimutai, who finished in 2:49:03 and Tanja Ivandic of the United States, who completed her run in 3:17:29.

Serbia’s Darko Zivanovic and Montenegro’s Sladjana Perunovic won in the men’s and women’s half marathon races, respectively, at the 29th Belgrade Marathon on Saturday.

Zivanovic collected his third triumph at the Belgrade Marathon with a time of one hour, 10 minutes and 34 seconds, finishing 23 seconds ahead of second-placed Srdjan Nikolic. Velimir Bojovic finished third in 1:13:00.

“Tough race for me in very difficult conditions. I would like to commend the organization of the marathon. I am very happy to have finished first, I beat myself,” Zivanovic said after the race.

Sladjana Perunovic won the women’s race in 1:21:38, followed by Nevena Jovanovic (1:25:34) and Natasa Culafic (1:28:32).

“The marathon was very difficult. I wasn’t chasing after a great time, but rather just to win the race. I finally managed to triumph in the half marathon, after being pretty close to victory in the previous two,” said Perunovic.

The 2016 Belgrade Marathon, the 29th edition of the traditional event in the Serbian capital, kicked off in front of the Church of St. Mark in Belgrade’s downtown, with the participation of a total of 5,836 athletes in the marathon and half marathon races and about 20,000 in the 5km Fun Run, on Saturday morning.

The signal for the start of the marathon was given by Belgrade Mayor Sinisa Mali, the Minister of Youth and Sports Vanja Udovicic and the race promoter, Javier Sotomayor, men’s high jump world record holder with a jump of 2.45 m.