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Saint Silvester Race
Category :- Events & Festivals Author :- Angolamarket 
Posted on December 30, 2012, 1:36 pm
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The São Silvestre De Luanda race, which takes place on 31 December each year in the Angolan capital, is one of the most traditional athletic events worldwide. São Silvestre De Luanda road race is an emotion filled international sporting event that best promotes athletics in its purest essence. This 10km end-of-the-year race have been joining professional and amateurs racers in Luanda streets on New Year’s Eve to honor the Saint Silvester's Holiday, as it is the day in which the Catholic saint, who was a Pope, died in the 4th century of the Christian Era.


The race that gathers thousands of general people is also mythically taken as an opportunity to discharge the ending year stresses and get into the New Year with a feeling of renewed physical and mental power, produce an elevation of mood and a sense of well-being.

The São Silvestre de Luanda brings several hundreds of people to sidewalks along the course of the race to witness and cheer, and millions of Angolans and foreigners are kept glued in front of their TV to watch this special event from home.

This spectacular race has been taking place in Luanda since 1954 but Female’s participation in this event began only in the 80s.

Isidro Louro, a representative of the Clube Atlético de Luanda, won the first ever victory of this magnificent race. Ever since then, the first place prize has also been awarded to António Esperança from Benguela, who won first place every year from 1957 until 1960 inclusive. Originally, only Angolan citizens were allowed to participate in the race, which initially took place at 10pm but was later moved to 6.00pm.

In the 1964 race, distinguished figures in the world of racing were invited to participate, opening a new era for the São Silvestre de Luanda race. To start off this new international era, the Mozambican António Repinga won first place – becoming the first foreigner to win the São Silvestre de Luanda race.

Portugal holds hegemony in female category after winning the first six races; followed by Ethiopia, which has four titles.

In 1985, the race went on to be called Desmóthenes de Almeida, in memory of Angolan race promoter but in 2002, the race went back to its original designation “São Silvestre de Luanda” as a way to keep the records and history of its national and foreign champions.

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