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MARATHON - A VICTIM OF EMPTY PURSE, BUT ALSO OF INDOLENCE ON
THE PART OF CITY AND SERBIAN AUTHORITIES
The Belgrade "Stark Marathon," listed in the calendar of the International
Athletic Association, will not take place this year because of lacking
funds, but also of non-existent criteria for assisting sports event, the
press was told.
Referring to problems the Belgrade Marathon Ltd. had to face in its attempt
to organize this year's marathon, Dejan Nikolic said it all boiled down to
general indolence on the part of relevant city and Serbian authorities.
Apart from verbal support and empty talk, organizers got no assistance
"Since the Belgrade Marathon Ltd. was founded, we have organized around 50
sports events with over 350,000 competitors," said Nikolic. He added that,
along with the Belgrade "Stark Marathon," his company had organized
"Children's' Marathon," "A Race through History" and "Women's Marathon."
"A Race through History" was one of the best sports events - out of four
best-ranked racers in 1999, as many as three won Olympic medals in Sydney
later on. However, even a fact as such was not sufficient for the
manifestation to take root, and the race was not held last year due to lack
Costs of this year's marathon were estimated at around 250,000 euro. The
marathon's major sponsor up to now, "Soko Stark," set aside one-fifth of the
necessary sum. The amount, as Nikolic put it, could in no way cover the
marathon's expenses, the more so since his company had outstanding debts
dating back in last year. He added ever since early 2001 they had tried in
vain to contact relevant institutions, but nothing came out of it.
Commenting these circumstances, the oldest Yugoslav marathoner, Franjo
Mihalic, winner of the gold medal at Melbourne Olympics in 1956, said it was
"a shame on Belgrade" since all over the world cities were those that backed
events as such.
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