Record number of female participants run in la Mercè race
Victories for Barça but contrasting fortunes for Catalan basketball sides
Cursa de la Mercè - upward trend for women continues
Sunday marked the 41st edition of the Cursa de la Mercè. This year’s tally matched that of 2018 at 12,000 runners.
Among these, 30.8% were women, signifying a record female total in the race since its inception in 1979, standing at 3,676 participants.
The men’s race was incredibly competitive, as a duel between Barcelona’s Arturo Bossy and winner of the previous two races, Mourad el Bannouri, went to the wire. Only in the last 200 metres or so was Bossy able to pull away and take the crown from Moroccan el Bannouri in a winning time of 30:10, down around half a minute on Bannouri’s previous two performances and some way off us personal best of 28:47.
Meanwhile, female victor Gemma Barrachina was comparatively dominant, finishing in a very impressive time of 35:12, nearly two whole minutes ahead of her nearest rival Míriam Ortiz, who crossed in 37:05.
Barcelona and ‘Penya’ at opposite ends of Liga Endesa table
It was a second consecutive win for the FC Barcelona basketball side in the Liga Endesa. A tight affair against Baskonia ended 95-87 as discipline proved the difference between the two sides.
Barcelona raced into an early 16-6 lead but were pegged back by a plucky Baskonia side. Going into the fourth quarter Barcelona trailed 63-71, but the hosts eventually proved too clinical.
Their opponents will rue discipline, as they committed 23 fouls and handed 29 free shots to Barcelona, of which they converted 24. If Baskonia had matched Barcelona for fouls committed (9), the scoreline may have been very different.
Meanwhile, it was a second consecutive loss for Joventut de Badalona, who came up short against Real Betis. Whilst 95-88 shows that it was indeed a tight affair, Real Betis led throughout and came out deserved winners.
The results leave Barcelona in the top four of the league table, all of whom are yet to drop a point. Meanwhile, ‘Penya’ are at the other end of the table in 17th, one of five sides yet to pick up a victory.
Canoe slalom world championships held in La Seu
La Seu d’Urgell hosted a successful Canoe slalom world championships over the weekend,
Catalan canoeist Nuria Vilarrubla was among the medallists - she and her team picked up silver in the C-1 women’s race.
Barcelona take pressure off Valverde with win
Barcelona’s 2-0 win at Getafe will come as a relief to boss Ernesto Valverde. Despite finishing the game with 10 men following Clément Lenglet’s sending off, Luis Suárez and Junior Firpo grabbed the goals as the club re-entered the top four, two points behind leaders Real Madrid.
The supergiant has been under fire after a string of lacklustre performances. Valverde will hope that this win, coupled with the imminent return of Lionel Messi, will see the club back to something like its best.
Espanyol however were the wrong end of a 2-0 result, as Valladolid ran out dominant winners. Espanyol will rue discipline, as a conceded penalty in the 25th minute and a red card to Fernando Calero midway into the second half proved pivotal in the result.