Alice Aprot in action in Alcobendas (ANOC / organisers) © Copyright

Aprot dominates proceedings again in Alcobendas – cross-country round-up

After winning the Cross Internacional de Soria by 48 seconds last weekend, Kenya’s Alice Aprot took another runaway victory on Spanish soil at the Cross Internacional de la Constitución in Alcobendas on Sunday (26).

By winning the senior women’s 8km race in 27:20, Aprot joins an illustrious list of past champions which includes compatriots Sally Barsosio (1995), Linet Masai (2008, 2015) and Vivian Cheruiyot (2009).

Her winning margin wasn’t quite as emphatic here but the world and Olympic 10,000m fourth-place finisher was still a cut above a predominantly domestic field. Spain's Trihas Gebre matched Aprot in the opening stages but ran an isolated race for the most part, finishing 34 seconds behind the Kenyan but 30 seconds ahead of third-place finisher Ana Lozano.

Aprot, who won a silver medal at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Kampala in March, has said she is targeting the Commonwealth Games on the track in Gold Coast, Australia, next April.

In the senior men’s 10km, Eritrea’s Aron Kifle, 19, easily prevailed ahead of defending champion Timothy Toroitich from Uganda, 29:22 to 29:57. In doing so, Kifle became the fourth Eritrean winner in race history after Zersenay Tadese (2005), Kidane Tadese (2011) and Teklemariam Medhin (2012).

Adel Mechaal finished a creditable third on home soil, one place ahead of world cross-country seventh-place finisher Vincent Rono from Kenya.

Swedish double in Tilburg; Reh upsets Klosterhalfen in Darmstadt

Sweden’s Napoleon Solomon extended his unbeaten streak this autumn with victory at the Warandeloop in Tilburg on Sunday (26).

Solomon, who was crowned Nordic cross-country champion in Middlefart, Denmark, a fortnight ago, won the senior men’s 10.3km in 31:40 to defeat former champions Richard Ringer from Germany (31:46) and Khalid Choukoud from the Netherlands (31:54).

World and Olympic 1500m finalist Meraf Bahta relied on her middle distance speed to outsprint defending champion Fabienne Schlumpf from Switzerland in the senior women’s 8.3km, winning by two seconds in 28:41.

At the Darmstadt Cross on Sunday (26), Alina Reh handed Konstanze Klosterhalfen a rare domestic defeat in the senior women’s 6.6km.

Reh gradually countered Klosterhalfen’s break on the last lap before pulling away for a two-second victory, 21:23 to 21:25. They finished more than a minute clear of Kenya’s Betty Chepkwony in third in 22:45.

Reh and Klosterhalfen have won a combined total of four European U20 titles and they will both step up to contest the U23 race at the European Cross Country Championships in Samorin, Slovakia on 10 December.

Amanal Petros, who will also contest the U23 race in Samorin next month, won the senior men’s race in 27:24 by three seconds from Abdi Uya.

At the Easykit Cross Cup event in Roeselare on Sunday (26), Soufiane Bouchikhi easily won the senior men’s 9.4km in 28:52 with Isaac Kimeli and Bashir Abdi only sixth and ninth respectively. Ekaterina Sokolenko won the senior women’s 6.25km in 21:57.

Gorecka returns to winning ways in Liverpool

Emelia Gorecka’s progression into the senior ranks has been stymied by a stress fracture in her foot but the 23-year-old produced one of her biggest wins since her junior days at the Liverpool Cross Challenge on Saturday (25).

Gorecka won the senior women’s 8km in 27:59 to secure her place on the British team for the European Cross Country Championships next month. Gorecka has twice won the U20 title and will make her senior debut next month.

Gorecka ran out the winner by six seconds ahead of Jessica Judd – who is still eligible for the U23 race in Samorin – with 2014 European cross-country champion Gemma Steel third in 28:16.

Ben Connor won the senior men’s 10km in 30:18 by two seconds from Alex Teuten. Less than a month after making a 2:09:49 marathon debut in Frankfurt, Dewi Griffiths was a competitive fourth in 30:27, one place and 10 seconds ahead of world and Olympic 5000m finalist Andrew Butchart.

At the Canadian Cross Country Championships in Kingston on Saturday (25), Lucas Bruchet took a gun-to-tape win in the senior men’s 10km in 30:20 ahead of marathon runner Eric Gillis in 30:41 while Claire Sumner won the senior women’s race in 34:48.

After winning the second leg of the series, Emmanuel Bett also prevailed at the third leg of the Athletics Kenya Cross Country Series in Ol Kalou on Saturday (25).

Bett won the senior men’s 10km in 29:14 in a sprint finish from Franklin Ngelel while 19-year-old Sandra Chebet won the senior women’s race by more than 40 seconds in 33:21.

Steven Mills for the IAAF