World U20 cross-country champions Jacob Kiplimo and Letesenbet Gidey took the honours at the 86th edition of the Cinque Mulini in San Vittore Olona, the sixth and penultimate leg of the IAAF Cross Country Permit circuit.
Kiplimo won the men’s 11km race in 34:00, beating Ethiopian Telahun Bekele by 17 seconds, while Gidey held off Kenya’s Daisy Jepkemei by four seconds in a close women’s 6km race.
In the men’s race, an eight-man leading group – formed by Eritrea’s Kokob Ghebru, Kenya’s Peter Ndegwa, Jacob Kiplimo, Italy’s Yemaneberhan Crippa, Ethiopian runners Taye Girma and Haile Telahun, Yassine Rachik from Italy and Filmon Ande from Eritrea – went through the second lap in 9:17.
The leading pack was whittled down to six men when Bekele, Ndegwa, Kiplimo, Ghebru, Girma and Crippa pushed the pace, going through the third lap in 17:44.
Kiplimo and Bekele increased their pace, pulling away from a chasing three-man group formed by Ndegwa, Crippa and Girma and opened up a gap of 16 seconds during the fourth lap.
Kiplimo broke away from Bekele during the last lap, dropping him by 17 seconds and went on to win in 34:00. Taye Girma prevailed in the battle for third place in 34:31 edging Ndegwa (34:34) and Crippa (34:36).
Kiplimo became the first Ugandan to win the Cinque Mulini race since Boniface Kiprop’s triumph in 2004.
“I am very happy with the win in this prestigious race,” said Kiplimo. “It was not a difficult race today. My goal for the season is to run under 27 minutes in the 10,000m and win a medal at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast.”
In the women’s 6km, Kenyan sisters Norah Jeruto Tanu and Daisy Jepkemei, Edao Febitu Bontu from Bahrain and Ethiopian runners Letesenbet Gidey and Feysa Hawi formed a five-woman leading group.
They went through the second lap in 9:21 with a gap of five seconds over 2014 European cross-country champion Gemma Steel, who finished second in San Vittore Olona in 2014.
Gidey, Jepkemei and Hawi pushed the pace with 13 minutes on the clock and pulled away from Jeruto and Bontu during the third lap.
Gidey, the 2015 and 2017 world U20 cross-country champion, launched her decisive kick with 150 metres to go, crossing the finish-line in 18:14 to edge Jepkemei by four seconds. Hawi, the world U20 cross-country silver medallist, finished third in 18:20 to beat recent Vallagarina Cross Country winner Norah Jeruto by 10 seconds. In sixth, Steel was the first European finisher, clocking 19:07.
Diego Sampaolo for the IAAF
1 Jacob Kiplimo (UGA) 34:00
2 Haile Telahun (ETH) 34:17
3 Taye Girma (ETH) 34:31
4 Peter Ndegwa (KEN) 34:34
5 Yemaneberhan Crippa (ITA) 34:36
6 Ande Filmon (ERI) 34:52
7 Kokob Ghebru (ERI) 35:11
8 Yohanes Chiappinelli (ITA) 35:11
9 Yassine Rachick (ITA) 35:29
10 Lorenzo Dini (ITA) 35:37
1 Letesenbet Gidey (ETH) 18:14
2 Daisy Jepkemei (KEN) 18:18
3 Feysa Hawi (ETH) 18:20
4 Norah Jeruto Tanui (KEN) 18:30
5 Edao Febitu Bontu (BRN) 18:55
6 Gemma Steel (GBR) 19:07
7 Martina Merlo (ITA) 19:28
8 Sara Bottarelli (ITA) 19:37
9 Alice Gaggi (ITA) 19:37
10 Roberta Ciappini (ITA) 19:42