Algarve's Jorge Varela and Finnish athlete Annemari Kiekara won the men's and women's events at the 50th edition of the Grand Prix of the Kings, held last Saturday in Faro and marked by tribute to former winners.
In male, Jorge Varela, from Areias de São João, revalidated the 2019 title, completing the 6,750 meters of the race – with departure and arrival at Manuel Bivar garden and passages in the old town, Largo de São Francisco, Pontinha Square and Rua of San Antonio – in 20.17 minutes, beating teammates Daniel Martins (20.17 minutes) and Youssef Kalai (20.22 minutes).
Already in the women's race won the Lithuanian athlete Annemari Kiekara, who completed the 4,650 meters in 15.15 minutes, beating Ana Cabecinha (Oriental Club of Pechão), who was crowned regional road champion, and Manuela Martins (Marathon Club of Portugal) , both with 15.44.
Collectively, he won the Pechão Oriental Club, followed by the CD Areias de São João and A ACAD Bela Vista.
In total, the 50th edition of one of the oldest events on the national calendar and the 5th edition of the Great Water Race, organized by Fagar, mobilized over 1000 athletes from all levels, beating records from previous years.
After the race, an official dinner was held in honor of former winners, highlighting Olympic champion Rosa Mota, winner of the Grand Prix of the Kings on four occasions – who also competed in Saturday's race, winning at the F60 level in 17.56 minutes – and only citizen granted with the Honor Key of the City of Faro.
Other former and current athletes were also distinguished, such as Albertina Machado, Alberto Chaica, Ana Cabecinha, Ana Dias, Aniceto Simões, Armando Aldegalega, Aurora Cunha, Ezequiel Cunha, João Campos, Jorge Varela, Luis Horta, Mario Silva or Vera Fernandes.
The Mayor of Faro, Rogério Bacalhau, also highlighted “the role of Artur Lara Ramos, former president of the Algarve Athletics Association and former organizer of the Reis Grand Prix, as“ one of the great mentors of this event and a great driver of athletics in its various aspects in the region ”.