Rolando Ortiz of Colombia - World Mountain Running Trophy (Pete Hartley) © Copyright
General News For the first time in the 22

Italians lose premier position - World Mountain Running Trophy

year history of the World Mountain Running Trophy the Italian men’s team lost their championship title to Eritrea scoring 44 points to Eritrea’s 37 in the 22nd World Trophy in Bursa, Turkey.

In a thrilling finish to the 12km 1275m climb uphill race, Colombian Rolando Ortiz out sprinted five times World champion Jonathan Wyatt (NZL) in the final 200m to win by 6 seconds in a time of 56:16.

Wyatt was making no excuses for the loss of his title but he was bitten by a dog 2 days before the race and was being treated for various possible effects including anti-rabies injections.

Tesfay Felfele led home the victorious Eritrean team finishing 3rd a further 17 second behind. Host country Turkey filled the bronze medal position as 26 countries finished with complete teams.

The women’s race also saw new champions as USA recorded their first ever gold medal having finished 3rd in 2004. It was a desperately close competition with the Czech Republic 2 points behind and Italy only a further two points behind in third position.

The individual gold was carried off by Andrea Mayr (AUT), the 2005 European Champion in 47:11. The surprise silver medallist was under 20-year-old Swiss Martina Strachl who overhauled 4 times World champion Isabella Guillot (FRA) in the last kilometres to beat her by 14 seconds.

A new country entering the trophy for the first time, Norway had finishers in 4th and 8th positions, needing just one more athlete to gain a podium place.

The junior men’s race was dominated by Eritrea who won individual and team gold. Mexican Carera 2nd last year had to be satisfied with 3rd.

The junior women’s race was won by Katerina Beresova in a time of 21:08, improving from 8th position in 2005. The Russians swept to victory in the team race finishing 2nd, 3rd and 5th.

The number of countries entering athletes reached new record numbers with 36 countries from Europe, Africa, South America, North America, and Oceana, all winning medals.

Danny Hughes for the IAAF