Portuguese ultra-marathon runner Joao Oliveira won the 31st Spartathlon race, one of the most difficult long distance international routes, crossing the finish line at the southern Greek city of Sparta early Saturday.
Oliveira reached the statue of ancient Spartan king Leonidas at approximately 6:30 a.m., at 23 hours, 29 minutes and eight seconds after the start of the 246 km non-stop race at the foot of the Acropolis hill in Athens Friday, reports Xinhua.
He was among 333 runners from across the world who took part this year in the revival of the epic feat that ancient Athenian soldier Pheidippides achieved 2,500 years ago, when he first ran from Athens to Sparta to seek reinforcements for the battle against Persian forces.
Under the warm applause of locals and foreign visitors an excited Oliveira burst into tears after being awarded with an olive wreath and a cup of water from the nearby Evrotas river.
German swimmer Britta Steffen announced her retirement from swimming.