The 9th International Limassol Marathon, the biggest sporting event of the year in Cyprus, started on Sunday morning, in the presence of President Nicos Anastasiades, Limassol Mayor Andreas Christou, other officials and spectators.
The Marathon attracted more than 10,000 participants, of whom about 1,500 runners came from abroad. The oldest runner is Cypriot Andreas Pampakas, aged 78. Children as young as 5 years old also participated.
Addressing the event, President Anastasiades said that the Marathon is one of the biggest events for the country which began nine years ago with the participation of only seventy runners. Today, he added, the participants are more than ten thousand.
The President praised the cooperation between local authorities, tourist organizations, athletic institutions and others, which led to such a successful sporting event.
He welcomed particularly the 1,500 athletes who came from abroad for the Marathon. Runners from most of the European countries, Japan, US, Brazil, Australia, China and Turkey participated in the Marathon, the President said.
Addressing these athletes, the President welcomed them and wished them a happy stay on the island.
He also praised the participation of 1,500 students/children at the event, pointing out that what is more important is the participation, physical activity, sportsmanship and solidarity.
In his speech, the President expressed gratitude towards the 500 volunteers who are working today for the success and the safety of the event.
The Marathon, which is accredited by IAAF and AIMS, is organized by Limassol Municipality, the Chamber of Commerce of Limassol, GSO and the Limassol Tourist Development Company.