September 17, 2017

“Ganja Marathon-2017” takes place following the Heydar Aliyev Foundation’s initiative

“Ganja Marathon-2017” took place in Ganja city, following the Heydar Aliyev Foundation’s initiative, September 17.


Over 11,000 people participated in the marathon. The competition covered capital Baku, regions of the republic, and different countries.


The event took place under the slogans “Make history by your willpower” and “Be with us at the Marathon”.


Government representatives, MPs and cultural figures were among the participants.


Citizens of Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, Georgia, Italy, Iran and other countries too competed in the marathon.


Assistant to the First Vice-president of the Republic of Azerbaijan Anar Alakbarov, greeting the participants, said this is the third marathon being held with organizational support from the Heydar Aliyev Foundation. Peoples’ joining this marathon and the growing number of the participants testifies to the great interest being shown towards sports events. “I invite all of you to participate in all our projects”, - said A.Alakbarov.


Head of the Ganja City Executive Authority Elmar Veliyev, greeting the marathon participants, called on everybody, the youth in particular, to be active in sports events.


Further, the marathon was launched. The participants, starting the race from “Zafar Taghy”, running along Nizami Ganjavi Avenue, Heydar Aliyev Avenue, Javad Khan Street, “Ganjachay” Boulevard and Shah Ismail Khatai Avenue, overcame the distance to the Heydar Aliyev Park. Overall length of the marathon was 17 kilometres.


Winners of the “Ganja Marathon-2017” were determined in two categories – among men and women participants.


Among men, Turkish citizen Üzeir Söylemez got to the finish line first, the second being Mohammed Jafar Muradi from Iran, with the third place being taken by Georgian citizen Omar Baikeyev. Awards to the winners were presented by Assistant to the First Vice-president of the Republic of Azerbaijan Anar Alakbarov, Head of the Ganja City Executive Authority Elmar Veliyev, and President of “Azercell Telecom” Vahid Mursaliyev.


Among women, Valentina Poltavska from Ukraine took the first place, Azerbaijani citizen Anna Yusipova winning the second place, while Natasha Petersen of the Great Britain took the third place. Awards to the women-winners were presented by 5-fold world champion, three-fold European champion on kickboxing Zabit Samadov, MP Ganira Pashayeva, and Honoured Artist Roya Aykhan.


In each of the men and women categories, the winner of the first place received 3000AZN, the winners of the second place receiving 2000AZN, while the winner of the third place took 1000AZN, together with other presents, as well as medals and certificates.


In his interview to correspondents, winner of the “Ganja Marathon-2017” among men Üzeir Söylemez said this was the second time he participated in the marathon held in Azerbaijan. He had won the second place in the “Baku Marathon-2017”. Üzeir Söylemez said the “Ganja Marathon-2017” was organized on the highest level.


The winner of the “Ganja Marathon-2017” among women Valentina Poltavska too was participating in the marathon for the second time, and had won the second place in this year’s Baku Marathon. In her interview to correspondents, she said she had received information about the Ganja Marathon from her friend, saying that she was surprised by such a big number of the participants. V.Poltavska talked about Ganja residents’ hospitality, expressing satisfaction with the organization of the marathon.


“Ganja Marathon-2017” was organized with support from the Regional Development Public Association (RDPA) of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, and the Ganja City Executive Authority. “Azercell Telecom” was an exclusive partner of the marathon. Implementation of the project was conducted by Sport Marketing Group (SMG) Company.


Persons over 16 joined the marathon, having got registered beforehand. Registration took place from August 14 to September 17 in Ganja, Baku, and Sheki cities, as well as in Shamkir, Yevlakh and Tartar districts.


As the costs of the first marathon held in the region were paid by the Regional Development Public Association (RDPA) of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, no payment has been made by either individuals or corporative participants.


The purpose of the project was to support the development of sport in regions, and propagate healthy lifestyle, and the ideas of solidarity in the name of benevolent objectives among people of different ages residing in various districts of Azerbaijan.


So far, “Baku Marathon”s under the slogan “Conquer the Wind!” took place in 2016 and 2017 in Baku, following the Heydar Aliyev Foundation’s initiative. As the marathon aroused a great interest in population, a decision was taken to hold it in Ganja city too. With its old history, Ganja was the first city to host the marathon among the regions.