Milkesa Mengesha timed his race to perfection to lead an Ethiopian 1-2 finish in the U20 men’s race at the IAAF/Mikkeller World Cross Country Championships Aarhus 2019.
In one of the closest finishes in the history of the IAAF World Cross Country Championships, Kenya's world U20 5000m champion Beatrice Chebet added the world U20 cross country title to her growing list of honours.
It has been 25 years since a European athlete last finished in the top 10 in the U20 men’s race at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships. The last individual medallist – a gold one at that – from Europe came 10 years before that.
Between them, Ethiopia and Kenya have won all of the 26 women's U20 team titles in IAAF World Cross Country Championships history. Kenya have taken the top spot in 15 editions to Ethiopia's 11 and in all but six editions, they have occupied the top two spots. You have to go back 24 years to 1995 to find the last individual winner not from either of these countries too, when Annemari Sandell of Finland struck gold in Durham and the two countries have enjoyed a clean sweep of the individual podium in every edition since 1999, when Japanese athlete Yoshiko Fujinaga made the podium in third.
Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey became the fourth woman to win back-to-back U20 titles at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships.
Uganda’s Jacob Kiplimo produced a performance of a lifetime to win gold in the men's U20 race at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships Kampala 2017, the country’s first ever gold medal at a World Cross.
Gold medals in the U20 men’s race proved to be just the beginning for the likes of Eliud Kipchoge, Kenenisa Bekele, Asbel Kiprop and Geoffrey Kamworor, so distance-running fans will understandably be keen to see which of the world’s top teenage talents emerges as the victor at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships Kampala 2017.
Since the inception of the junior/U20 contests at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in 1989, dozens of countries have grappled with one simple question: how do you beat Kenya and Ethiopia in the team chase? And in each of those 25 editions, the answer has proven elusive. That east African stranglehold looks unlikely to change this year.
Ethiopian youngsters were to the fore at the Cross Ouest France in Le Mans on Sunday (17) with reigning world junior cross country champion Letesenbet Gidey, 17, claimed top honours when winning the women’s 6.3km race in 20:56.
Yasin Haji finished second at the Ethiopian Trials at the Jan Meda International Cross Country in February but he had the beating of his compatriots – and the rest of the world – in the junior men’s race at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships, Guiyang 2015 on Saturday (28).
Ethiopian cross-country trials winner Letesenbet Gidey took an impressive junior women's victory at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships, Guiyang 2015 in her first international race outside of Ethiopia.
No less than US$280,000 in prize money will be paid out by the IAAF to the leading runners in the two senior races at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships, Guiyang 2015 on Saturday 28 March.