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Mauritania - Running for friendshipSport
To celebrate the EU's 50th birthday in true sporting style, its representative office (delegation) in Mauritania has taken the lead in organising the annual "Mauritania‑Europe friendship half‑marathon”.
This year's event took place on Saturday 27th January, with record numbers of runners, sponsors and spectators.
In the Olympic Stadium in the Mauritanian capital, Nouakchott - against a backdrop of the EU and Mauritanian flags - the starting gun for the main 21km race was fired by the country's sports minister, Mme Mehla Mint Ahmed, Minister for Culture, Youth and Sport.
Three other, shorter races, were also held. The first, over 10km, was started jointly by the EU delegation chief, Jean-Eric Paquet, and the German ambassador, representing his country's presidency of the EU. Mr Paquet subsequently ran the 10km in a bib symbolically numbered “1957”.
Finally there were two 5km races, for local schoolchildren and for disabled runners, started respectively by the president of Mauritania's athletics federation and the French and Spanish ambassadors.
In the evening, to round off the festivities, the delegation hosted a large reception under a traditional Mauritanian nomadic tent or “khaima”.
This event was a great example of genuine Mauritanian-European partnership, bringing people together to enjoy a great sporting occasion that looks set to continue as an important date on the Mauritanian sporting calendar.
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