News date02.09.2018

16th Marcialonga Coop today in Fiemme and Fassa valleys (ITA)
26 km track from Moena to Cavalese with the victory of Ousman Jaiteh
Clementine Mukandanga wins ahead of Gitonga and Montrone
Team Trentino Robinson triumphs in the relay race – the combined goes to Bormolini and Caminada

The Trentino-Gambian Ousman Jaiteh won (in all senses) the sixteenth edition of Coop Marcialonga from Moena to Cavalese (ITA). He comes from Gambia and has arrived to Valsugana after landing in Lampedusa passing through Libya to escape political persecution, proudly affirming his (new) roots: "I am from Valsugana!”, stated he after crossing the finish line. His passion for running was incredibly born in Trentino and not in Africa. Jaiteh managed to triumph (1h 23' 04") on the 26km track ahead of the other African gazelles Kirui Kipkorir Erick (1h 23''41") and Daniel Ngeno Kipkirui (Kenya) in 1h 24'10". In the ladies race, Clementine Mukandanga (RWA) won in 1h32'03" ahead of Makandi Caroline Gitonga (1h33'08") and Teresa Montrone (1h37'26"), from Bari but living in Trieste. The relay race saw the Trentino Robinson Team win with a total time of 1h32'04"; the team was composed of Lorenzo Busin, Francesco Ferrari and Bruno Debertolis. Thomas Bormolini from Livigno and Chiara Caminada from Como won the Combined Punto3 Craft, a special ranking that sums up the times of the athletes in the Marcialonga skiing, cycling and running, with the historic ski-marathon to be staged on 27th January with its 46th edition.
1500 entries and about 1300 participants today, with 200 athletes to give up probably scared by the rain that didn’t come in the end. They lost a spectacular event that saw so many valley dwellers gather in various villages to encourage the competitors. In fact, given the temperature of 10°, it seemed to be assisting more to the winter Marcialonga than to the Marcialonga running at the end of summer. Marcialonga also seems able to stop the bad weather! Indeed, it didn’t rain during the competition.
The race started in the heart of Moena - in Piaz de Sotegrava – and passed over the charming wooden bridge in Forno, following the cycle track near the Avisio stream, with the first three athletes who came at the finish line followed by the Run2gether project athletes Gilbert Kiprotich Kemoi and John Kiprop Kosgei, together with the Italian Simone Gobbo and the other Austrian-Kenya project athlete Geoffrey Githuku Chege. In Predazzo, between the “Ski jumping stadium” in Stalimen (seat of the Marcialonga) and the heart of the town, Gobbo and Chege come off. The race passed then through Ziano di Fiemme, and the phenomenal Clementine continued her run alone after leaving behind Gitonga. In Panchià there is another wooden bridge and then the track passed through the Cross Country Stadium of Lago di Tesero. In Masi there was the definitive acceleration of Ousman Jaiteh, before the last and demanding climb that leads to Cavalese, where many fans were waiting for the arrival of the competitors. The winner was satisfied: "It's a tough race, but I'm very happy to have won "at home" even if I live in Valsugana, work in a factory as a carpenter and I feel very comfortable here. The last climb was difficult, but in Valsugana, where I train, there are a lot of climbs! There were very strong athletes today but I had already tested the track a couple of weeks ago”. A success that goes hand in hand with the victory of Mukandanga, who recovered after reaching the finish line with cramps and in debt of sugars, not used to these temperatures. The "third" triumph is that of the Trentino Robinson Team's in the relay race, here are the words of the last fractionist Bruno Debertolis: "When we talk about Marcialonga we can only be present, the organization invited us, we wanted to take home a beautiful image of the team and of the Marcialonga in relay".
Thomas Bormolini in the 'Combined' wins the family fight with his brother Nicolas: "At the beginning he tried to 'beat me' but in the end I recovered! Until Predazzo he made me work hard, but I’m happy to do these three Marcialonga races every year, the winter race was beautiful, on my bike I raced like a real cyclist, in the running race I take it sportively, just to limit damage”. Chiara Caminada is instead the winner of the women’s “Combined”: "It was a very tough race for me, running is my Achilles' heel, but now I can't wait to prepare for the winter race. Marcialonga offers three beautiful competitions also because they are organized very well, I'm always happy when I return home”.
The political persecution for Jaiteh and his family began in 2013, with his father who was arrested and Ousman who fled first to Senegal and then to Libya. Two years later he managed to embark for Italy where he arrived in 2016, first in Lampedusa and then in Trentino, until today where the victory is "final", with his desire to fight which made him get the first place in Marcialonga Coop.

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