Ivana Petrovic wins third place in Belgrade Nike race
Among ten thousand runners who dared to be part of the traditional Nike city race on ten kilometres, this September there was Ivana Petrovic who, passing through the finish in 38 minutes and 17 seconds, won third place in the women's competition. By her sporting successes, but also during performance of her everyday tasks of organizing and planning the training and testing of the physical fitness, she is proving to be a real promoter of sport by which she successfully motivates her colleagues to "get activated" and start loving recreation.
Speaking about her impressions from the competition, Ivana recalls that Nike races are organized all over the world, traditionally gathering a large number of participants, so that fans of running, from recreational to elite athletes, can meet there. She says that the competition was strong, and she shared the winner’s podium with the team members of our country representing Serbia in the Balkan and European championships.
- Although it is not a track to record official results, I achieved my personal record at ten kilometres. Bearing in mind the temperature typical of summer weather, the length of the track, with the challenges that the route itself entailed, it was not easy. Over Branko's Bridge to the Terazije tunnel there is a slight climb, and later follows slope down, which requires extra energy and tactics during the running – Ivana says, adding that the specificity of street racing, in relation to the running tracks, is also the hard pad, which entails a higher risk of injury and a variety of obstacles that additionally burden the runners.
Practicing throughout the year
In the cycle of preparation of athletes, Ivana explains, this race has a role of a stronger practice, so that there were no serious preparations before the competition, but it was a kind of control of its physical fitness.
- I have been in for athletic since I was little girl and I have been in sport for long. It is our family tradition because my dad was an athlete. But when I enrolled on the Faculty of Physical Education in Belgrade, due to my obligations, I was not able to devote myself to the athletics to the extent that I wanted – the athlete is honest.
However, when she began working as a desk officer for physical education in the 126th Air Surveillance Brigade last year, there appeared a chance to devote herself to what she loves most – the sports.
- The Serbian Armed Forces allowed me to make my dream come true, because there are very good conditions for practicing at the Military Academy. There are the Sports Centre and the newly opened athletic hall and it will remain just on that. Preparations at the level of the Serbian Armed Forces, competitions, as well as incentives for the best ones, are motivating. And if there is love for sports, success is not missing – Ivana emphasizes.
In the previous year, the twenty-nine-year-old girl from Nis made a series of success – at the state level she achieved outstanding results in 800, 1,500 and 3,000 meter races. The plan is, as she points out, preparations for the cross country running to be organised by Serbian Broadcasting Corporation this autumn, and the success in this competition would be a ticket to enter the ranks of the Serbian national team.
Promotion of healthy lifestyle
Besides Ivana, other members of the Ministry of Defence and the Serbian Armed Forces also participated in the race, and the remarkable success is also the fourth place won by Natasa Culafic, a professional soldier, who is also a member of the Serbian Armed Forces national athletic team.
The winner was Teodora Simovic, and the one who was faster than Ivana was only Biljana Cvijanovic. In men competition, the best one was Osman Junuzovic, the second-place finisher was Ognjen Stojanovic, and the third-place finisher was Stanley Kibus.
Start was at Belgrade's Usce, the route continued along the Branko's Bridge and the central city streets, and back through New Belgrade. By the number of participants and the public interest, the race ranked the Serbian capital among the top destinations for running lovers. The biggest "Nike" race in the region was opened by basketball players Milica Dabovic and Tamara Radocaj who were cheering the runners, promoting a healthy lifestyle and development of sport.