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A look at prospects for Day One

A look at prospects for Day One
Mark Butler for the IAAF
22 March 2002 - Dublin, Ireland -Athletics statistician Mark Butler looks at the leading prospects for the first day of the IAAF/Sport Ireland World Cross Country Championships.


No woman has ever won this title twice, but in Dublin there are two Kenyans who could achieve that feat; defending champion Viola Kibiwott and the 2000 winner Vivian Cheruiyot. The Ethiopians will be out for revenge after Kibiwott snatched individual victory from Abebech Nigussie 12 months ago in Ostend. Their leader perhaps will be Tirunesh Dibaba, a cousin of Derartu Tulu who was fifth in 2001. Kenyans, Ethiopians and Japanese runners have filled the first six places every year since 1996, but there are a few candidates in Dublin who might end that run.



540     BEKELE Bezunesh ETH     Junior team gold at 1999 World Junior XC
541     DEFAR Meseret   ETH     Silver medals at 5000m in 2000 at both the African senior and World Junior Championships
542     DIBABA Tirunesh ETH     2002 Ethiopian Junior XC Champion
543     TUFA Mestewat   ETH     2001 World Youth silver at 3000m
550     DALE Charlotte  GBR     5th in 2001 European Junior XC despite falling in the first 800m
572     IKEDA Emi       JPN     2001 Japanese High School Champion at 3000m
577     CHEROP Sharon   KEN     2000 World junior bronze at 5000m despite losing a shoe during
the race
578     CHERUIYOT Vivian        KEN     Sydney Olympic finalist at 5000m
579     DOMONGOLE Fridah        KEN     2001 World Youth bronze at 3000m
581     KIBIWOTT Viola  KEN     2001 World Junior XC Champion
619     KOSTIC Snezana  YUG     2001 European Junior XC bronze
642     ROLLISON Melissa        AUS     World junior record holder at 3000m Steeplechase


There will be a new champion because the 2001 champion Enock Koech has withdrawn through illness. Kenya’s strength in depth is demonstrated by the fact the Koech’s replacement, Julius Nyamu, is one of the fastest steeplechasers in history. Sammy “Slammin” Kipketer has been the man in form in Kenya this winter with wins in the Armed Forces and Nationals. Even so, Kenenisa Bekele has taken the limelight so far with a string of wins in Europe. Can he end Ethiopia’s relatively disappointing showing in the four editions of this event.

Morocco’s big guns are out in this race, headed by the new world record holder for the steeplechase, Brahim Boulami. No Australian has ever won a world cross country medal but Craig Mottram should get near. he was 8th in Ostend and has clearly moved to a new level this winter. Ireland too might have something to cheer from Gareth Turnbull, while Spain’s Alberto García will be hoping to translate his indoor form to the country.



168     MOTTRAM Craig   AUS     Australian record holder at 3000m & 5000m
184     de SOUZA Hudson BRA     South American record holder at 1500m & 3000m
199     JIMÉNEZ Antonio ESP     2002 European indoor silver at 3000m
202     ABATE Abiyote   ETH     2001 Ethiopian Champion at 5000m
206     BEKELE Kenenisa ETH     2001 World Junior XC Champion
207     MEKONNEN Haylu  ETH     Ethiopian record holder at 1500m
208     WOLDE Million   ETH     In Sydney became the youngest Olympic 5000 Champion
214     MAAZOUZI Driss  FRA     2001 World bronze at 1500m
217     MAYOCK John     GBR     British #1 at 1500m for the past seven years
233     TURNBULL Gareth IRL     Silver at 1500m in 2001 World Student Games
242     CHEBII Abraham  KEN     Was the world’s fastest 10,000m runner in 2001
243     KIPKETER Sammy  KEN     Holds world road bests at 5K & 10K
244     KIPKOSGEI Luke  KEN     1998 Goodwill Games winner at 5000m
245     KIPLAGAT Sammy  KEN     2001 Kenyan Prisons XC Champion
246     KOSGEI Joseph   KEN     2nd in 2002 Kenyan National 4K XC
247     NYAMU Julius    KEN     Clocked 8:07.59 for steeplechase in 2001
253     BOULAMI Brahim  MAR     In Brussels 2001 became the first non-Kenyan to set a world record for steeplechase since 1976
255     EL AMRI Khalid  MAR     2002 Moroccan short course XC Champion
257     EZZINE Ali      MAR     2001 World steeplechase silver
372     GARCÍA Alberto  ESP     2002 European Indoor Champion at 3000m


It will take an exceptional runner to prevent Paula Radcliffe from becoming the first woman to successfully defend this title since Lynn Jennings in 1991/1992. In Radcliffe’s last race at Puerto Rico she got near to the world road best at 10K despite being in the midst of her build-up to the London marathon. If it were not for Gete Wami and Derartu Tulu, the British runner would have won two further golds at these championships. The Ethiopian pair are missing this time though that country still have Merima Denboba and Ayelech Worku who have each outkicked Radcliffe in the past.  Another threat is Japan’s Kayoko Fukushi, a revelation on the road this winter but inexperienced at cross country.

The Kenyans, like the Ethiopians, are not at full strength whereas the United States and Britain each have loaded teams with medal potential.



786     BUTLER Kathy    GBR     2001 European Cup winner at 3000m
789     RADCLIFFE Paula GBR     2001 Champion, she also won the World Junior XC title 10 years ago
791     YELLING Liz     GBR     Twice English XC Champion
807     FUKUSHI Kayoko  JPN     Clocked 31:22 & beat Derartu Tulu by 52 seconds during 10K stage in 2002 Yokohama Ekiden
810     AYABEI Jepkorir KEN     2nd in 2002 Kenyan National 8K XC
811     CHEPCHUMBA Pamela       KEN     5th in 2002 World Half Marathon
812     CHERUIYOT Rose  KEN     Twice Olympic finalist at 5000m
813     MALOT Leah      KEN     Ended Gabriela Szabo’s 2-year win streak at 5000m in Berlin 2000
814     OMORO Jane      KEN     1994 Commonwealth bronze at 10,000m
815     WANGARI Monica  KEN     3rd in 2002 Kenyan National 8K XC
829     ROSA Anália     POR     Team gold at 2000 World short course XC
843     de REUCK Colleen        USA     Ran in three Olympic Games for South Africa before
becoming a US citizen in December 2000
844     DROSSIN Deena   USA     Passed out in the 2000 World Cross Country Championships long race after swallowing a bee which stung her in the throat; she recovered to finish 12th
845     DRYER Elva      USA     Team bronze in 1998 World short course XC
847     RHINES Jennifer USA     Team bronze in 2000 World long course XC
853     JEVTIC Olivera  YUG     2002 Balkan XC Champion