Report19 Jan 2014

Mbishei leads Kenyan one-two in Kerkrade – cross-country round-up


Kenyan distance runner Titus Mbishei (© Getty Images)

The 'Abdijcross' in Kerkrade put together arguably their best ever fields for the 50th running which played host to a Kenyan double on Sunday (19).

In the men's 9.6km race, sub-27-minute 10,000m performer Titus Mbishei cut loose from compatriot Andrew Mangata, who was competing as a senior for the first time, to lead an unopposed Kenyan one-two in 29:44 and 29:53 respectively.

The Moroccan duo of Ilias Fifa and Chakir Boujattaoui, the latter a top-ten finisher at the 2009 IAAF World Cross Country Championships, were unable to put up sustained resistance, finishing a distant third and fourth in 30:17 and 30:22 respectively, with Khalid Choukoud the first Dutchman home in fifth in 30:31.

Virginia Nyambura has mainly plied her trade as a pacemaker in the steeplechase on the Diamond League circuit but the 20-year-old showed she can also last the distance with a victory in the 7.4km race.

Nyambura, despite under no obligation to set the pace this time, still ran from the front and the reward was a dominant victory in 26:15.

Dutchwoman Ruth Van Der Meijden was second in 26:42 with Belgium's Veerle Dejaeghere, some twenty years Nyambura's senior, third in 26:58.

There was also a Kenyan one-two at the 30th edition of the Said-Cherdioui cross-country race, held in the Tizi Ouzou province in northern Algeria on Saturday (18).

Kennedy Kipyego was followed home by Amos Mitei in the 10km race while Zewdnesh Ayele from Ethiopia won the women's 5.2km race ahead of Algerians Malika Benderbal and two-time Olympian over 1500m Nahida Touhami.

No times were recorded in either race.

Ethiopian youngsters dominate Le Mans

Senbera Teferi scored top honours in the women's 6.3km race at the 33rd edition of the 'Cross Ouest-France' in Le Mans ahead of world youth 1500m champion Tigist Gashaw on Sunday (19).

Teferi and Gashaw, who are both eligible to represent Ethiopia at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Eugene this summer, clocked 20:51 and 20:52 respectively with Souad Ait Salem from Algeria, at the other end of the age spectrum at 35, third in 21:05.

At 17, Gashaw is also eligible for the junior race at next year's IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Guiyang, China.

Birhan Nebebew, who clocked 13:14.60 for 5000m and 27:14.34 for 10,000m as a junior, made a victorious start to his senior career in the men's 10.4km race, winning in 30:38 ahead of Ethiopian team-mate Mesfin Alemu, second in 30:43.

Morocco's Othmane El Goumri completed the podium in third in 30:57.

Runaway winners in Cardiff

Former European junior cross-country champion Charlotte Purdue won by 59 seconds at the fourth leg of the British Athletics Cross Challenge in Cardiff on Sunday (19).

Purdue won the 7km race in 25:09 by 59 seconds while Adam Hickey won the men's 10.37km race in 33:05 by 13 seconds.

Steven Mills for the IAAF