World Cross Redux: Korir the Surprise, by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

Senior Men's WXC, photo by Grzegorz Kowalski, for the IAAF

Senior Men's WXC, photo by Grzegorz Kowalski, for the IAAF

The 2013 World Cross Country Championships were held last Sunday, March 24, 2013. Besides the cold, snow, and hills, the men's race was a battle. Jasepth Korir was the surprise champion in the senior race. It was the race that was where the Kenyan juggernaut had its least successful performance. 



BYDGOSZCZ (POL, Mar 24): The jubilee 40th edition saw Kenya and Ethiopia ruling, winning all gold medals, and except of men teams also all silver medals. In freezing and tough conditions. Next edition of the World CC Championships will be held in 2015 in China.


Suprise of the day: Japheth Korir men winner, last year junior and youngest winner ever of the senior men race (13:11.44 2012 indoor 5000 m PB, at the Kenyan trials only 6th). He had the biggest winning margin of the day 6 seconds. The other 3 winners as expected.


Junior women: Kipyegon sure of her kick before the start. She was able to control the race and finished fast but it was close with Tirop.


Junior men: Also here favorite win for olympic finalist Gebrhiwot. Barsoton was amazing and will be the man to watch in summer. Edris got bronze.


Senior women: This race started slower than juniors with Kenyans controlling. Steepler Ayalew went away in the difficult part of the course and raised a good gap. But it was not enough for fantastic Chebet, repeating her win from here in 2010. Her last lap was very impressive. Melkamu a dnf.


Senior men: Title defender Merga waited too much, Mesfin did the job to close on Kenyans. Americans and Birmingham (8th) were fantastic in this difficult course, cold and hard. Kenyans disappeared: only winner Korir in top 10.


Europeans: Top European individual position 14th Fionnualla Britton in women race, other top Europeans in men race Sergio Sanchez of Spain as 16th, the same position in junior girls Emelia Gorecka of Great Britain, and worst in junior boys as French Alexander Saddedine was 29th. In teams British junior girls third (the only European medal), Italian junior boys 6th, Ireland women 5th and Spanish men 8th were the top squads from Europe.


Medals: Seven countries got medals: 1. Kenya 5-3-1, 2. Ethiopia 3-4-3, 3. USA 0-1-0, 4t. Great Britain, Morocco, Bahrain, Eritrea 0-0-1.





BYDGOSZCZ (POL): Ken Nakamura sends his usual stats. Kenyan junior Kipyegon became the third woman to defend the title after Viola Kibiwott (2001, 2002) and Genzebe Dibaba (2008,2009). Last time Kenyan junior men lost team title was back in 1998 when Ethiopia won by 4 points. Emily Chebet, the 2010 champion, became the 12th runner to win multiple women's title at World CC. Kenyan women are now having 11 team golds (not countign short races), one more than Ethiopia. Bahrain won first team medal in senior women's race at World CC. Last time Kenya failed to finish in top 2 in the senior men's team race is back in 1984, they were fourth. Last time US won team medal in senior men's race was back in 2001. Last time US won team silver medal in senior men's race was even more back in 1984.


BOLT 46.44, BLAKE 46.32

KINGSTON (JAM, Mar 23): Global star Usain Bolt competed for third time in a warm-up home meet and clocked 46.44 as second in his 400 m race at UWI Invitational. At his training track he was beaten by Nicholas Maitland who clocked 45.79 PB. „I'm happy to finish the race injury free and looking forward to the rest of the season," Bolt said, his next race is already next weekend at the 150 m at famous Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro. Yohan Blake was also beaten but clocked personal best 46.32 (last year his previous PB 46.49), in his race Allodin Fothergill posted 46.24. „I feel good to run my personal best over 400," Blake said while adding „if the wind wasn't that strong I would have gotten a faster time. But I still have to give God thanks. I´m running some good times in the 400 so I'm right where I'm supposed be," he was quoted by Trackalerts. Next races for Blake are Diamond Leagues in Doha and Shanghai. In the women 400 m Rosemarie Whyte was timed with 52.34 over sprinters Sherone Simpson 53.65 and olympic 100 m winner Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce as 5th 56.63. Stephanie McPherson posted good 23.37 in the 200 m against -2.4 wind with 400 m specialists beaten, Shereefa Lloyd 24.25 and Shericka Williams 24.57. Anniesha McLaughlin won the 100 m in hand-timed 11.2 (-0.4). In the men 100 m Jason Livermore achieved 10.41 (+0.5), in other race Nicholas Watson also 10.41 (+1.2) and third race Sheldon Mitchell 10.45 in minus 1.2 wind. Hurdler Ristannana Tracey won the 800 m in 2:13.87. In technical events Travis Smikle 59.82 in discus, O´Dayne Richards 19.00 in the shot put.



LISBON (POR, Mar 24): At sunny day with good wind conditions fast 23rd EDP Half Marathon in Portugal. Marathon world champion Edna Kiplagat won with 1:08:48 over Eunice Kirwa 1:08:59 and Pasalia Kipkoech was pushing in first stages of the race 1:09:21. Fourth Sylvia Kibet 1:10:41 in sprint over best home runner Ana Dulce Felix 1:10:44. Moroccan Malika Asahassah 1:11:36 over Tadelesh Alemu of Ethiopia 1:11:59 as 6th and 7th with Latvian Jelena Prokopcuka 8th 1:12:55. European indoor champion Sara Moreira one week after NYC HM finished 11th 1:14:30 and steeple world record holder Gulnara Galkina debuted at the distance as 13th in 1:15:50. Men started very fast with 27:17 10 km split worth of world record, actually the fastest ever in a half marathon. At that time Bernard Koech was already leading alone and finished with 59:54. Second Peter Some 1:00:21 and third best Ethiopian Abera Kuma 1:01:09. Two more Kenyans went under 1:02 Bernard Kitur 1:01:48 and Richard Mengich 1:01:56. First European German Andre Pollmacher as 10th in 1:04:50. From Alberto Stretti.




US RESULTS (SATURDAY, Mar 23, Martinez 4:08.43, Jeter 37.52, Hicks 13.35)



PASADENA: Brenda Martinez clocked worlds fastest 4:08.43 in the 1500 m in a solo race at the 70th Pasadena Games. Also to note fast 300 m races. Greg Nixon won in 32.34 over Gil Roberts 33.11. In women section long jump and 100 m specialist Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria won in 37.04 (her first 300 m ever) over Keshia Baker 37.36 and world champion Carmelita Jeter 37.52 in the debut at the distance. Torie Bowie clocked windy 11.30 (+2.3) in the 100 m and Vashti Thomas also windy 12.94 (+2.6) at the hurdles. 2007 World Youth Champion Dalilah Muhammad improved at 400 m hurdles to 55.97. In relays Nike teams clocked 43.69 and 39.90 (with hurdles world champion Jason Richardson).


ORLANDO: At UCF Invitational Mary Wineberg won the 400 m in 52.44 and world and olympic sprint winner Veronica Campbell-Brown opened the season as 6th in 55.22.


BATON ROUGE: South African 200 m olympic finalist Anaso Jobodwana clocked 10.26 PB (+1.6) to win the 100 m at LSU Tiger Relays ahead of Gabriel Mvumvure of Zimbabwe 10.30.


NASHVILLE: Wind assisted 804 (+2.4) in the long jump for Mike Hartfield at the Vanderbilt Black and Gold meet.


LOS ANGELES: Trojan Invitational saw Amer Webb winning both sprints in 10.32 (+0.8) and 20.71 (-0.7). With colleagues from Texas AM they won the 4x100 m in 39.47. Fastest outdoor 400 m in the world so far 51.55 for Jessica Beard.


ARLINGTON: Wallace Spearmon for first time started a relay team and his mates Maurice Mitchell, Cordero Gray and Darvis Patton finished in 38.93. Gray also won the 100 m in 10.36 (+1.2). In women 100 m Cleo Van Buren won in 11.34 (+1.4) over Porscha Lucas 11.43 and 400 m runner Natasha Hastings 11.53.


TEMPE: ASU Invitational saw reigning world champion Jesse Williams clearing 225 in his opening meet over another Daegu medalist Trevor Barry of Bahamas 220. It was more for Williams than in his four indoor meets this year.


EL PASO: Cierra White clocked 11.09 (+3.7) and legal 22.91 (+0.6) in the 200 m at the UTEP Springtime meet. US Indoor Champ Omo Osaghae got 13.63 (+2.5) at the 110 m hurdles.


CORAL GABLES: Another top US hurdler Antwon Hicks was timed with 13.35 (-0.3) at the Miami Invitational and that is the fastest so far of the year. Second Devon Hill 13.52. In women 200 m former World champion at 100 m Lauryn Williams posted windy 22.69 (+3.8) in the 200 m.


SAN MARCOS: Andrew Irwin cleared 560 in the pole vault and Australian Julian Wruck 65.04 in discus at the Texas State Elite meet. World junior champion from Barcelona at the 400 m Ashley Spencer registered two personal bests in other events. She won the 100 m in 11.46 (+0.1) and was second in the 400 m hurdles 57.34. Here the winner Sparkle McNight of Trinidad got 56.72. NCAA indoor second placer at 400 m Regina George clocked 800 m PB 2:03.79.


IRVINE: Montez Blair cleared 224 at the Spring Break Invitational in the high jump and Fred Taylor beat in close race Croatian Dario Horvat at the 100 m (-0.7), both 10.45.


HOUSTON: Funmi Jimoh leaped to good 668 (0.0) in the long jump at the Victor Lopez Classic. Jamaican Patricia Hall clocked 23.25 (-0.6) in the 200 m.


CULLOWHEE: Olympic relay medalist Manteo Mitchell achieved here 20.85 (+1.9) in the 200 m.







AUCKLAND (NZL, Mar 24): Last day of New Zealand Championship had Stuart Farquhar and his 80.17 in the javelin as the top result. 100 m winner Joseph Millar could not be faster as 21.38 to win the 200 m against -4.1. wind. Daniel O´Shea beat Michael Cochrane at the 400 m hurdles 50.64 to 50.74. Tom Walsh got 19.42 in the shot put and Lucy Van Dalen 4:16.80 in the women 1500 m.


PORT OF SPAIN (TRI, Mar 23): Olympic 6th placer and national record holder Jehue Gordon won during first day of Falcon Games the 400 m hurdles in 49.65.


ATHLONE (IRL, Mar 24): Marcus Lawler (18) clocked 21.29 in the 200 m during Irish National Indoor Championships, new national junior record.


SAN SEBASTIAN (ESP, Mar 24): The 9th European Indoor Masters Championships ended with Germany topping the medal table with 88-68-57 record. Second home side of Spain 81-73-71 and third France 50-38-44. In total 33 European countries medalled.







VENLO (NED, Mar 24): Philemon Yator of Kenya won the Venlo Half Marathon in 1:01:53. His last 5 km were too strong for the second Charles Cheruiyot 1:02:34 and third Julius Koech 1:02:36. Fourth best home and so national champion Khalid Choukoud 1:03:27. Urige Buta of Norway as fourth got 1:04:44. Jane Moraa won the women race for Kenya in 1:10:40 over Swedish marathon record holder Isabellah Andersson 1:10:55. Third Valentine Kibet 1:11:34 and fourth best Dutch and so national champion Ruth Van der Meijden 1:14:07.


MILANO (ITA, Mar 24): In a rainy and cold day Stramilano had Kenyan winners. The race started quite fast with 14:37, 29:24 and 44:10 splits. Kiprop Limo was the winner in 1:01:49 ahead of Robert Chemosin 1:03:36 and Italian representative Ahmed El Mazoury 1:03:37. Kenyan Pauline Njieri won women race only in last part of course with 1:11:19. Second Hellen Jepkurgat 1:11:21. They were followed by Italian runners Emma Quaglia 1:12:37 and Elena Romagnolo who debuted at the distance with 1:13:13.


BRATISLAVA (SVK, Mar 24): The 8th CSOB Bratislava Marathon had in all races more than 7000 thousand participants. In freezing and windy weather with snow Kenyan Isaac Cheruiyot Chesiny won in 2:18:33 what is new event best. Under the former mark (2:19:42) also second Peter Wanjiru 2:18:47. Third Ukrainian Aleksandr Barbaryka 2:20:20. In women category clear Kenyan win for Lilian Koech in 2:51:42, her third win here after 2010 and 2011. Second Croatian Marija Vrajic 2:53:52 and third Hungarian Katalin Farkas 2:57:26. In half marathon also Kenyan wins as Joel Maina Mwangi one week after winning the Austrian Championships race in Wels won again in strong finish 1:04:06 over Dickson Kosgei Kurui 1:04:10. Chelangat Sang was the best woman in 1:13:24 over Mary Wanjohi 1:13:42.


WARSZAWA (POL, Mar 24): The 8th Warszawa Half Marathon saw Kenyan Martin Muia winning in 1:02:49 ahead of Ethiopian Abrha Asefa 1:02:50 and third Samuel Rutto 1:02:52 with best home runner Marcin Chabowski fourth in 1:03:23. Olga Kalendarowa-Ochal topped the results and was also crowned Polish women champion 1:14:04.


FLORIANOPOLIS (BRA, Mar 24): Kenyan Paul Kimutai won the 4th Half Marathon here in 1:04:32 ahead of Robert Kiprotich 1:04:58 and best Brazilian Ivanildo Pereira 1:05:21. In women category Jacklyne Rionoripo of Kenya clocked 1:16:28.


ZAANDVORT (NED, Mar 24): Kenyan Edwin Mokua won the Runner's World Zandvoort Circuit Run with 36:45 at 12 km. In total 12 000 runners participated. Second Jairus Chanchima 37:02 and third best European Belgian Koen Naert 37:35. Esther Chemtai as top woman was timed with 40:46 over Lilian Jelagat 40:48 and Veerle Dejaeghere 43:07.


CASTELLON (ESP, Mar 23): Moroccan Fatima Ayachi won the 6th Costa Azahar Gran Premio at 10 km in 33:22, top male runner was Haile Mengusha of Ethiopia 28:56.


DRESDEN (GER, Mar 24): Falk Cierpinski won the 23th Dresden City Run at the 10 km in below zero temperatures 31:13. Czech Jan Kreisinger was second 31:27.


QINGZHEN (CHN, Mar 23-24): Chinese CC Championships had in men races at 6 and 12 km double winner World Half Marathon participant 2012 Su Guioxiong 18:24 and 37:59. Women winners were Li Zhenzhu at 4 km (13:00) and Ding Changquin at 8 km (28:23).

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