Ukrainian refugee wins women’s race at Jerusalem marathon


(JTA) — Valentyna Veretska, a Ukrainian athlete who fled with her daughter as Russia attacked her country, won the women’s race in the Jerusalem marathon on Friday.

Veretska completed the grueling marathon in the hilly city in 2:45:54 seconds on Friday, draping herself in the Ukraine and Israel flags after crossing the finish line.

The 31-year-old had applied to run the marathon before the war; she had previously won the women’s marathon in Tirana, Albania, in October.

The war Russia launched on Feb. 24 sent her and her daughter into Poland, while her husband has stayed in Ukraine to fight.

Israel has taken in close to 17,000 Ukrainian refugees since the conflict began, and Israel’s sports ministry said Thursday that it is ready to take in 100 athletes.

Israeli Olympian Ageze Guadie won the men’s race at 2:37:17.

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