Joshua Cheptegai takes win at 2019 IAAF WC, photo by Photorun.net
Hellen Obiri takes World XC, photo by PhotoRun.net
The World Cross Country was, by all indications a big success. A tough cross country course, and a great celebration of one of the most iconic parts of our sport!
Cheptegei wins this time, Obiri among all-time greats
AARHUS (DEN, Mar 30): Great edition of IAAF/Mikeller World Cross Country Championships on superb course with interesting innovations or classics, nice amount of spectators and top sunny weather. In the 43rd edition Africa dominated with Ethiopia beeing the top nation this time with top medals 5-3-3 and points 98. Kenya had 2-3-3 and 72 and Uganda was close third 2-2-2 and 70. Only one non African medal went to Japan in the girls U20 teams. Five countries got medals and 15 countries were among top 8. Sensation of the day was Ugandan 1-2 in the men senior race. Best individual non-African result was the 12th position of Jakob Ingebrigtsen in the U20 boys competition.
Event by event review
Senior women (10.24km): Kenya’s Hellen Obiri completed the set of major titles with victory in 36:14 ahead of Ethiopians Dera Dida (36:16) and two-time U20 champion Letesenbet Gidey (36:24) with Uganda’s Rachael Chebet a surprise fourth in 36:47. Denmark’s Anna Emilie Moller was the top non-African finisher in 15th, three places ahead of Ireland’s Fionnuala McCormack who was competing less than six months after giving birth to her daughter. Ethiopia won the team title (21) from Kenya (25) and Uganda (36) with Great Britain fourth (132).
Senior men (10.24km): Joshua Cheptegei made up for two years ago with victory in 31:40 by four seconds ahead of 18-year-old teammate Jacob Kiplimo with Kenya’s reigning two-time champion Geoffrey Kamworor third in 31:55. Selemon Barega was the leading Ethiopian in fifth in 32:16 with Sweden’s Robel Fsiha the top non-African in 17th in 33:06. Uganda won the team title for the first time (20) ahead of Kenya (43) and Ethiopia (46) who shared the team title between them from 1981 until 2017. Spain was top European team as 7th (in total 18 teams).
Mixed relay (8.2km): Fantu Worku anchored Ethiopia to victory in the mixed relay in 25:49. Rababe Arafi made up a 22-second deficit on Kenya’s Winfred Mbithe to anchor Morocco to silver, 26:22 to 26:29. The Moroccans were initially disqualified for an exchange infringement but they were later reinstated. Spain was 6th as top European team after 9 were finishing.
U20 women (6km): Kenya’s world U20 5000m champion Beatrice Chebet won in a frantic finish ahead of Ethiopians Alemitu Tariku and Tsige Gebreselama. All three medallists were given the same time of 20:50. Final solution from judges came only at later stage. Italian European Champion from Tilburg Nadia Battocletti was top European as 23rd. Team medals for Ethiopia (17), Kenya (26) and Japan (72, the only non African medal of the day) with Uganda just missing out with 73. Britain 7th as top European team out of 16.
U20 men (7.728km): Ethiopians took a one-two courtesy of Milkesa Mengesha (23:52) and Tadese Worku (23:54) with Uganda’s Oscar Chelimo (23:55) taking bronze. No individual medal for Kenya for first time since 1984. Jakob Ingebrigtsen faded out of the top-10 on the last lap, collapsing across the line in 12th in 24:39 but he was still the top non-African by more than one minute. Team medals for Ethiopia (18), Uganda (32) and Kenya (34). Again Britain top European team as 8th out of 16.