Antwerp Marathon gears up for record edition despite tightened security measures

Antwerp is preparing to host the third edition of the Antwerp Marathon on Sunday. A record 12,000 participants are expected to take part in this year's edition. However, security measures have been tightened due to the increased threat level after a terrorist attack in Brussels claimed two lives on Monday.

Despite the heightened vigilance, the event's organiser Golazo say that security checks will be limited mainly to informational questions, to avoid participants dropping out due to anxiety. However, those who registered this week have been told that sports bags and rucksacks may be checked.

"The organisation of the Antwerp Marathon knows how important it is for a runner to have dry and warm clothes on arrival, but asks all participants to limit the number of belongings, to leave as many bags as possible with family or friends and to take into account possible waiting times at the storage area," the organisers said on Friday. Spokesman Gert Van Goolen insisted in a statement that the aim was simply to avoid long queues, so rucksacks are not banned.

"The organisation knows how important it is for a runner to have dry and warm clothes, but asks participants to limit the number of belongings"

The conflict in Gaza and Monday's attack in Brussels have put cities across Europe on high alert. In Ghent, two squares were evacuated on Wednesday morning after a suspicious package was found. On Wednesday, Ostend airport in the province of West Flanders was temporarily evacuated after a possible bomb threat.

Following Monday night's attack in Brussels, in which a gunman killed two Swedish nationals, the Belgian government raised the threat level for the whole of Belgium to 3 - the second highest level on a scale of 1 to 4.


#FlandersNewsService | © BELGA PHOTO HADRIEN DURE

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