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Edinah Jebitok and Ronald Kwemoi reign in Seville

Edinah Jebitok and Ronald Kwemoi achieved a Kenyan double at the Cross Internacional de Italica, the fourth World Athletics Cross Country Tour Gold meeting of the season, held on the outskirts of Seville on Sunday (12).

Making their debuts at the event, Jebitok and Kwemoi claimed the titles on a sunny and pleasant afternoon after respective sprint finishes against Ethiopia's world U20 champion Senayet Getachew and Kenya's Hillary Chepkwony.

In the absence of pre-race favourite Beatrice Chebet, who withdrew on the eve of the event because of illness, the women's 9918m contest opened at a brisk pace set by Jebitok, who only had her compatriot Winnie Jemutai, Ethiopians Getachew and Wede Kefale, and Uganda's Annet Chelangat for company just one minute into the race. Way back, Britain's Amelia Quirk, Kate Axford and Phoebe Barker led the chasing group alongside Spain's European U20 champion Maria Forero and her compatriot Carolina Robles.

Jebitok broke away from the rest of the lead group at the start of the second 2450m circuit and built a five-second margin over Getachew midway through that lap. Getachew was another four seconds clear of Jemutai and gradually she reeled in Jebitok, until they were running together at the helm midway through the race. Jemutai was a lonesome third, while Kefale and Chelangat were further back. Behind them, Quirk and Forero took turns leading their group, followed by Robles and Axford.

Throughout the penultimate loop, Jebitok and Getachew tried to lose each other but neither managed to do so. By the bell, the pair had built a 20-second margin ahead of Jemutai, while Forero and Quirk were in sixth and seventh place, and would fight to be the first European home.

Already on the closing lap with the clock reading 25:40, Jebitok unleashed another kick and was able to leave Getachew behind for the second time, opening a six-second margin with 1000m remaining. Much to the delight of the large crowd watching, the Ethiopian bounced back and passed Jebitok with some 500m remaining. Jebitok then found another gear and reached the narrow final bend a few metres ahead, but to the astonishment of the crowd she stopped in the belief that she had crossed the finish line.

Getachew took advantage and overtook her, entering the home straight in the lead, but Jebitok – a 1500m specialist – didn't surrender and passed her rival in the final metre to win by the narrowest of margins. Both athletes were credited with a finishing time of 32:39, well clear of Jemutai who was third in 33:37. Chelangat was fourth and Kefale fifth, while 20-year-old Forero got the better of Quirk to secure sixth.

“I'm so satisfied with my European tour as I have won twice and was runner-up in Atapuerca,” said Jebitok. “My main goal is to be the overall victor of this season's Cross Country Tour.”

Kwemoi maintains momentum

The men's race was also held over 9918m and witnessed an early lead by the in-form Kwemoi, as the 28-year-old – who set the world U20 1500m record in 2014 – set a brisk pace that could only be followed by his compatriots Chepkwony and Ishmael Kipkurui, the world U20 champion, plus Burundi's Rodrigue Kwizera and Uganda's Martin Kiprotich. The opening lap was covered in 7:07, with the lead group also featuring the Spanish pair of world 5000m silver medallist Mo Katir and Abdessamad Oukhelfen, the 2019 European U23 cross country bronze medallist.

Clocking 7:17 for the second lap, Kiprotich, Kwemoi and Kwizera took on most of the pacing duties and Kipkurui and Chepkwony tucked behind. Some 6.7km into the race first Oukhelfen and then Katir could not live with the increasingly quick lead pace and lost ground. By the bell (7:13 for the penultimate lap), five men remained in contention while Katir and Oukhelfen travelled five and seven seconds in arrears, respectively.

The closing lap became more than thrilling as Kwizera pushed hard, trying to avoid a massive sprint, but the Burundian’s efforts only managed to leave Kiprotich behind, while Kwemoi, Kipkurui and Chepkwony, who ran conservatively always at the back of the main group, remained at Kwizera's shoulder.

The next casualty was Kipkurui and the race turned into a fascinating three-horse battle. Chepkwony moved to the front for the first time with around 500m remaining and his change of speed could not be replicated by Kwizera. Chepkwony reached the final bend still ahead of Kwemoi, but the latter finally prevailed after an epic battle for the win.

(11/13/2023) Views: 275 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Cross internacional de Italica

Cross internacional de Italica

The Cross Internacional de Itálica is an annual cross country running competition it will be held on 21st of November in Santiponce, near Seville, Spain. Inaugurated in 1982, the race course is set in the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Italica. As one of only two Spanish competitions to hold IAAF permit meeting status, it is one of...

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Beatrice Chebet ready to star in Seville

The Cross Internacional de Itálica in Santiponce on the outskirts of the Spanish city of Seville – the fourth Gold standard meeting in the current World Athletics Cross Country Tour – always boasts a mouth-watering line-up, and this year’s race on Sunday (12) is no exception.

Entries for the women’s race, contested over 9.9km, are headed by Kenya’s world cross-country and 5km champion Beatrice Chebet. The 23-year-old triumphed in Atapuerca two weeks ago and will be looking for her first victory here after her runner-up place in 2020 and a third place the following year.

The world 5000m bronze medalist will be joined by her compatriot Edinah Jebitok, who was eighth at the World Cross in Bathurst and third in Atapuerca. The 1500m specialist was also a clear winner in San Sebastian last weekend.

World U20 cross-country champion Senayet Getachew and fellow Ethiopian Wede Kefale – who was 15th in the senior women’s race at this year’s World Cross – will also be in contention for a podium place.

Uganda's Anne Chelangat, 13th at the World Cross and third last week in San Sebastián, is another strong contender.

World and Olympic finalist Nadia Battocletti will be racing in Santiponce for the first time. She recently placed fifth in the 5km at the World Road Running Championships in Riga, finishing just 10 seconds shy of Chebet, so will be trying her best to stay in contention with the Kenyan on Sunday.

The line-up also includes Spanish steeplechasers Irene Sánchez-Escribano and Carolina Robles plus European U20 cross-country champion María Forero and Britain's Amelia Quirk, who was 25th in Bathurst.

The men’s 9.9km contest looks set to be a three-way battle between the Kenyan pair of Ronald Kwemoi and Ishmael Kipkurui plus Burundi's Rodrigue Kwizera.

The 28-year-old Kwemoi will compete for the third consecutive time on Spanish ground after his runner-up spot in Atapuerca two weeks ago and a narrow win over Kipkurui last Sunday in San Sebastián. On that occasion, world U20 cross-country champion Kipkurui pushed hard for most of the race but he couldn't avoid being overtaken by world U20 1500m record-holder Kwemoi in a thrilling sprint finish with the two men being separated by one second.

Their Kenyan compatriot Hillary Chepkwoni, fresh from a huge PB of 58:53 at the Valencia Half Marathon three weeks ago, will also be on the start line.

Kwizera, co-winner of the 2022-2023 World Cross Country Tour, finished eighth at the World Cross Country Championships in Bathurst at the start of 2023. More recently he placed third in Atapuerca where he was beaten by Kwemoi over the closing stages but grabbed an easy victory last weekend in his Spanish base of Castellón at a low-key cross country race.

Eritrea’s Aron Kifle, the 2018 world half marathon bronze medalist, will be making his 2023 cross country debut on Sunday. He’ll be joined by compatriot Merhawi Mebrahtu, the world U20 5000m silver medalist, who finished second in Amorebieta and ninth in Atapuerca the following week.

Uganda’s 2022 world 5000m bronze medalist Oscar Chelimo, who recently finished third in San Sebastian, will contend for a top-five finish on Sunday. The 21-year-old will be joined by his compatriot Martin Kiprotich, who finished 18th at the World Cross in Bathurst.

The Spanish contingent will be headed by Mohamed Katir. The world 5000m silver medalist has been training in the altitude of Sierra Nevada since mid-October and will be back there right after the race for another week. He has planned a quiet cross-country campaign with only a few appearances.

Other Spaniards in the line-up include the in-form Abdessamad Oukhelfen, who was fourth in San Sebastian behind Chelimo, 2017 European cross-country silver medalist Adel Mechaal and national silver medalist Sergio Paniagua.

Adrian Ben, who finished fourth over 800m at this year’s World Championships, could also be in contention. The 25-year-old was a 1500m specialist at the beginning of his career and there's talk of a potential move back up in distance ahead of the Paris Olympics. Ben is fresh from a cross country victory over 5km in his native Lugo last Sunday when he defeated steeplechaser Víctor Ruiz.

Other noteworthy middle-distance specialists in the line-up include European U20 1500m and 5000m champion Niels Laros of the Netherlands and Britain's newly-minted world mile silver medalist Callum Elson.

Famous previous winners in Santiponce include Kenenisa Bekele (2003, 2004 and 2007), Fernando Mamede (1984 and 1985), Paul Kipkoech (1987 and 1988), Paul Tergat (1998 and 1999), Moses Kipsiro (2008 and 2009), Leonard Komon (2010 and 2011), Linet Masai (2010 and 2012) and Paula Radcliffe (2001), among others.

Weather forecasters predict a sunny and windless day with temperatures in the 20-22C range by the time of the event.

(11/10/2023) Views: 234 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Cross internacional de Italica

Cross internacional de Italica

The Cross Internacional de Itálica is an annual cross country running competition it will be held on 21st of November in Santiponce, near Seville, Spain. Inaugurated in 1982, the race course is set in the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Italica. As one of only two Spanish competitions to hold IAAF permit meeting status, it is one of...

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Turkey’s Yasemin Can and Burundi’s Thierry Ndikumwenayo claim Italica titles

Turkey’s Yasemin Can and Burundi’s Thierry Ndikumwenayo secured respective victories at the Cross Internacional de Itálica on the outskirts of Seville in what was the sixth World Athletics Cross Country Tour Gold meeting of the season, on a sunny and pleasant Sunday (20).

While Can prevailed over Uganda's Peruth Chemutai in a thrilling clash, Ndikumwenayo unleashed a sprint victory over his training partner Rodrigue Kwizera and a star-studded line-up.

The women’s contest was held over the slightly longer distance of 10.1km, but that was no barrier for Olympic steeplechase champion Chemutai, who took control of the race from the start. After just one minute into the race, only Kenya’s Purity Chepkirui and Nancy Jepleting, Yasemin Can and Ethiopia's Meselu Berhe managed to stay close to the 23-year-old Ugandan. Berhe was the first casualty as she began to lose ground before the second kilometer.

While Chemutai made most of the pacing duties at 3:18/km pace, 2021 world U20 1500m champion Chepkirui ran closest to her shoulder with four-time European cross-country champion Can in third and Jepleting in fourth. The first serious move came just before the fourth kilometer when Chemutai's relentless rhythm began to pay off as firstly Jepleting and then Chepkirui began to falter, leaving Can as Chemutai’s only rival.

Way behind the top-five, Spain's Isabel Barreiro, the winner in Amorebieta, headed a five-woman chase pack which also included steeplechase specialists Irene Sánchez-Escribano and Olympic finalist Carolina Robles, plus 5000m specialists Marta García and Portugal's Mariana Machado.

After successive 2.5km loops of 7:56 and 7:54, Can decided to take charge of the race, moving ahead of Chemutai with Chepkirui 14 seconds in arrears. Midway through the penultimate lap, Barreiro injected a brisker pace in pursuit of Jepleting and Berhe.

Can and Chemutai, timed at 8:01 for the penultimate lap, were locked in battle as they set off on the final lap. The Ugandan, who placed fifth at the 2019 World Cross in Aarhus, tried to get rid of Can on an uphill section with 750 meters remaining, but the Turk held off her challenge to regain the lead, launch her attack some 450 meters from home, eventually crossing the finish line unopposed in 32:31 to the Ugandan's 32:34.

More than a minute further back, Chepkirui secured third place while Barreiro displayed the form of her life as she passed Jepleting and Berhe to finish fourth. A fast-finishing García was a creditable fifth as she pipped Berhe in the home straight.

At the finish line, Can expressed her happiness at the win and felt optimistic about her chances at the European Cross Country Championships in Turin on 11 December, the day of her 26th birthday.

Ndikumwenayo maintains momentum

The men's race started with Spain's 2017 European cross-country silver medalist Adel Mechaal at the front of the pack. The 32-year-old led a large group with all the main favorites such as Ndikumwenayo, his fellow Burundian Rodrigue Kwizera and the Kenyan pair of Stanley Waithaka and Levy Kibet in close attendance.

With the clock reading 11:00, the in-form Ndikumwenayo moved to the front for the first time to head a group of eight. Ndikumwenayo heated up the pace as the leading group covered the second lap in 7:09 for the opening cicuit's 7:21. By halfway, Spain's world 1500m bronze medalist Mohamed Katir was in second place ahead of Kwizera and Waithaka, but midway through the penultimate circuit Eritrea's Merhawi Mebrahtu took the lead and his frantic pace whittled down the lead group to six men. After another swift lap, which only took 7:04, Kwizera led at the bell with Ndikumwenayo and Katir closest to him.

The Castellón-based Kwizera pushed hard throughout the closing lap, setting a cadence that Katir could not maintain before entering the final kilometer. Shortly afterwards, 19-year-old Mebrahtu lost any chance of a podium place and the race became a double Burundian-Kenyan affair, a duel resolved in favor of the former as Kwizera and Ndikumwenayo managed to build a sizeable margin on the Kenyan pair some 500 meters from home.

The two leaders completed the final lap in a brisk 6:50 before negotiating the tricky final bend. Once again, Ndikumwenayo – who ran a world-leading 7:25:93 for 3000m earlier this year – produced a speedy finish and prevailed over Kwizera, but only just as both were credited with the same time, 28:51. Six seconds back, Kibet took third place after overtaking Waithaka in the closing stages.

“This is my third win a row this cross country season,” said a delighted Ndikumwenayo. “I'm surprised because I only began to train a couple two months ago after the summer break but I feel great both physically and mentally. I'll now stop competing and will do a 25-day training camp in the altitude of Sierra Nevada (3479m). My next event might be a New Year’s Eve race in Spain but it's not confirmed yet.”

Leading results

Women

1.- Yasemin Can (TUR) 32:31

2.- Peruth Chemutai (UGA) 32:34

3.- Purity Chepkirui (KEN) 33:47

4.- Isabel Barreiro (ESP) 33:57

5.- Marta García (ESP) 34:07

6.- Meselu Berhe (ETH) 34:08

7.- Carolina Robles (ESP) 34:11

Men

1.- Thierry Ndikumwenayo (BDI) 28:51

2.- Rodrigue Kwizera (BDI) 28:51

3.- Levy Kibet (KEN) 28:57

4.- Stanley Waithaka (KEN) 29:00

5.- Merhawi Mebrahtu (ERI) 29:08

6.- Mohamed Katir (ESP) 29:17

7.- Nassim Hassaous (ESP) 29:27.

(11/22/2022) Views: 622 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Cross internacional de Italica

Cross internacional de Italica

The Cross Internacional de Itálica is an annual cross country running competition it will be held on 21st of November in Santiponce, near Seville, Spain. Inaugurated in 1982, the race course is set in the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Italica. As one of only two Spanish competitions to hold IAAF permit meeting status, it is one of...

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Kiplimo, Waithaka and Chemutai are ready to run well in Seville

The Cross Internacional de Itálica in Santiponce on the outskirts of the Spanish city of Seville – the sixth Gold standard meeting in the current World Athletics Cross Country Tour – always boasts a mouth-watering line-up, and this year’s race on Sunday (20) is no exception.

The men’s 10.1km contest features world silver and bronze 10,000m medalists Stanley Waithaka of Kenya and Jacob Kiplimo of Uganda. The latter, who turned 22 earlier this week, is also the world cross-country silver medalist and already won here in 2019.

Kiplimo boasts an impressive 26:33.93 PB for 10,000m and enjoyed a fantastic summer season this year, winning double gold at the Commonwealth Games just a few weeks after his bronze medal at the World Championships. His last appearance came at the Great North Run in Newcastle a couple of months ago where he won against a strong field.

Waithaka finished seven hundredths of a second ahead of Kiplimo in Oregon to take his first senior global medal.

But they will face stiff opposition from the first four finishers at last weekend’s Cross Country Tour race in Atapuerca in the form of ThierryNdikumwenayo, Kenya's Levy Kibet, Burundi’s RodrigueKwizera and Eritrea's MerhawiMebrahtu.

After living in the country for eight years, Ndikumwenayo was granted Spanish nationality 10 days ago, but the 25-year-old from Burundi is not yet eligible to represent Spain in international events. He proved to be in stellar form in Atapuerca and will aim to maintain that momentum on Sunday while his closest opponent there, Kibet, will be eager to confirm his runner-up place ahead of Kwizera was no fluke.

Defending champion Kwizera reportedly resumed training for this cross-country season a bit later than usual after spending some weeks in his native Burundi for family matters, but the 22-year-old is rounding into form and he should be in contention for a podium place once again. Meanwhile teenager Mebrahtu, the world U20 5000m silver medalist, will also be a contender after his recent top-four finishes in Soria and Atapuerca.

Spanish hopes rest mainly on the in-form NassimHassaous, a top-10 finisher in all his appearances so far this cross country campaign.

Entries for the women’s race, also contested over 10.1km, are headed by Uganda's Olympic steeplechase champion PeruthChemutai. Illness prevented the 23-year-old from competing in Atapuerca last weekend, but she now seems fully recovered and ready for her first outing since taking bronze at the Commonwealth Games in August.

Despite the longer than usual distance, Kenya's 2021 world U20 1500m champion Purity Chepkirui should play a key role on Sunday following her overwhelming win in San Sebastián two weeks ago and her runner-up finish in Atapuerca last Sunday.

She will be joined by her fellow Kenyan Nancy Jepleting, winner in Zaragoza last month, while Ethiopia will be represented by MeseluBerhe, runner-up in San Sebastián and seventh in Atapuerca.

Turkey's four-time European cross-country champion Yasemin Can is also entered, as is Portugal's 2019 European U20 3000m silver medalist Mariana Machado, and Spain’s Isabel Barreiro, who finished just six seconds behind Can last weekend.

Previous winners in Santiponce include KenenisaBekele (2003, 2004 and 2007), Fernando Mamede (1984 and 1985), Paul Kipkoech (1987 and 1988), Paul Tergat (1998 and 1999), Moses Kipsiro (2008 and 2009), Leonard Komon (2010 and 2011), Linet Masai (2010 and 2012) and Paula Radcliffe (2001), among others.

Weather forecasters predict a sunny day and temperatures in the 16-18C range by the time of the event.

(11/18/2022) Views: 596 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Cross internacional de Italica

Cross internacional de Italica

The Cross Internacional de Itálica is an annual cross country running competition it will be held on 21st of November in Santiponce, near Seville, Spain. Inaugurated in 1982, the race course is set in the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Italica. As one of only two Spanish competitions to hold IAAF permit meeting status, it is one of...

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Norah Jeruto and Rodrigue Kwizera triumph at Cross de Italica

Kenya’s Norah Jeruto and Burundi’s Rodrigue Kwizera secured victories at the Cross Internacional de Itálica on the outskirts of Seville in what was the fifth World Athletics Cross Country Tour Gold meeting of the season, held (21) on a cloudy but dry day.

Right from the start of the women’s 7.9km contest, Jeruto took command of the race and led a quartet that included compatriot Beatrice Chebet, Ethiopia’s 5km world record-holder Senbere Teferi and recent Atapuerca winner Rahel Daniel. Margaret Chelimo, the defending Cross de Italica champion and world 5000m silver medallist, was a few seconds adrift of the leaders within the first few kilometres.

While Jeruto and Chebet took charge of the pacing duties, Teferi and Daniel ran at the back of the lead pack. Just before the halfway point, Chelimo made contact with the lead group and moved to the front alongside Chebet and Jeruto. Daniel, meanwhile, began to lose contact after the fourth kilometre as the race became a duel between the Kenyan trio and Teferi.

Half way through the final circuit, Teferi couldn’t live with the pace being set by Chelimo and Jeruto. Chebet lost ground on her compatriots in the final kilometre, leaving Jeruto and Chelimo to battle for victory.

It briefly seemed as though the long-legged Chelimo would reel in the long-time leader, but Jeruto, who this year clocked a world-leading 8:53.65 in the steeplechase to move to third on the world all-time list, found an extra gear in the home straight to win marginally ahead of Chelimo, herself two seconds clear of Chebet.

The men’s 10.1km event began at a moderate pace, set by the Spanish duo of Carlos Mayo, a 27:25.00 10,000m performer, and the 40-year-old Ayad Lamdassem, a creditable fifth at the Tokyo Olympics in the marathon. Shortly before the third kilometre, world U20 3000m champion Tadese Worku moved to the front to whittle down the leading group to six other men: fellow Ethiopian Nibret Melak, Uganda’s Thomas Ayeko, Eritrea’s Aron Kifle, Kwizera, Mayo and Abdessadam Oukhelfen.

The first significant move came some 15 minutes into the race when Kifle, the winner in Atapuerca last weekend, put in a surge to leave Ayeko and the Spaniards behind within a matter of seconds. Kifle and Worku then took turns at the front with Melak and Kwizera tucked behind.

Throughout the closing loop, Worku tried to shake off Melak, Kwizera and Kifle, but Kwizera was able to stick to the teenager’s relentless pace. After negotiating the tricky final bend, Kwizera overtook Worku with relative ease to take the biggest win of his career so far in 28:33, one second ahead of the defending champion Worku, while Melak secured third spot in 28:42, seven seconds clear of Kifle.

“Winning the Itálica permit is incredible for me,” said 22-year-old Kwizera, who finished 11th at the 2019 World Cross Country Championships. “I’m doing very well this cross country season and hope to maintain this. I feel very comfortable in cross country races but I also would like to improve my career bests on the track (13:34.65 for 5000m and 28:21.92 for 10,000m).”

(11/22/2021) Views: 1,122 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Cross internacional de Italica

Cross internacional de Italica

The Cross Internacional de Itálica is an annual cross country running competition it will be held on 21st of November in Santiponce, near Seville, Spain. Inaugurated in 1982, the race course is set in the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Italica. As one of only two Spanish competitions to hold IAAF permit meeting status, it is one of...

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Top fields gather for Cross Internacional de Italica

The Cross Internacional de Italica in Santiponce on the outskirts of the Spanish city of Seville – the fifth Gold standard meeting in the current World Athletics Cross Country Tour – always boasts a mouth-watering line-up, and this year’s race on Sunday (21) is no exception.

The men’s 10,092m contest features one of the most promising distance runners, Ethiopia’s Tadese Worku, who was the last victor here in January 2020. The 19-year-old is the current world U20 cross country and 3000m champion, has recently shown impressive form with a 26:56 clocking at a 10km road race in Herzogenaurach and should be tipped as one of the favorites. He will be joined by his fellow Ethiopian Nibret Melak, a 12:54.22 5000m performer this year.

They will face stiff opposition from the whole Atapuerca podium, as Eritrea’s Aron Kifle, Burundi’s Rodrigue Kwizera and Uganda’s Joel Ayeko will also be in contention. The latter’s compatriot Thomas Ayeko, Burundi’s Thierry Ndikumwenayo and Eritrea’s Yemane Hailesilassie should also rank in the top 10 on Sunday.

Spanish hopes rest on the European U23 cross country bronze medalist Abdessamad Oukhelfen. The 22-year-old has proven to be in fine form at this early stage of the season, with third and fifth-place finishes in San Sebastian and Atapuerca respectively. Watch out too for Carlos Mayo, who also made the top 10 in Atapuerca and will be aiming to match that feat here.

Eritrea’s Rahel Daniel Ghebreneyohannes managed an upset victory in Atapuerca last weekend, defeating a mighty Kenyan armada featuring Beatrice Chebet, Margaret Chelimo and Norah Jeruto who were second, third and fourth-place finishers respectively there following a tight and intriguing finish. The four of them will clash again over 7910m on Sunday and the battle for the win promises to be epic.

Reportedly, the unheralded Eritrean competed in Atapuerca wearing two right shoes, but despite that disadvantage she got the better of a world-class line-up and will be eager to prove her victory was no fluke.

Daniel’s top performance is a 14:55.56 5000m clocking from Hengelo last June, but she couldn’t advance to the final at the Tokyo Olympics. Meanwhile, the Kenyan triumvirate holds impressive backgrounds. While Chelimo is the reigning world 5000m silver medalist and defends her victory in Santiponce last year, Jeruto boasts the third fastest ever time in the 3000m steeplechase thanks to a 8:53.65 performance. As for Chebet, the 2018 world U20 5000m champion was runner-up behind Chelimo in 2020 and narrowly beat Chelimo and Jeruto in Atapuerca.

Another Kenyan, Eva Cherono, was eighth at the 2019 World Cross Country Championships and will make her second outing this autumn after a winning 19:17 clocking over four miles in Groningen last month.

To add more quality to Sunday’s field, organisers also announced the late addition of Ethiopia’s Senbere Teferi. The 26-year-old came sixth at the Tokyo Olympics over 5000m and bettered her lifetime best for the distance to an impressive 14:15.24 this season. Teferi will be aiming to regain her 2017 win here and seems ready to do so after her 14:29 overwhelming victory and outright women's world 5km record of 14:29 in Herzogenaurach in September.

The most remarkable Europeans on show will be Turkey’s Yasemin Can and Italy’s Nadia Battocletti; the former having claimed four consecutive European cross country titles and the latter having finished just outside the top 10 in Atapuerca.

Previous winners in Santiponce include Kenenisa Bekele (2003, 2004 and 2007), Fernando Mamede (1984 and 1985), Paul Kipkoech (1987 and 1988), Paul Tergat (1998 and 1999), Moses Kipsiro (2008 and 2009), Leonard Komon (2010 and 2011), Linet Masai (2010 and 2012) and Paula Radcliffe (2001), among others.

Weather forecasters predict a rainy day and a temperature of 18ºC by the time of the event.

(11/19/2021) Views: 1,132 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Cross internacional de Italica

Cross internacional de Italica

The Cross Internacional de Itálica is an annual cross country running competition it will be held on 21st of November in Santiponce, near Seville, Spain. Inaugurated in 1982, the race course is set in the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Italica. As one of only two Spanish competitions to hold IAAF permit meeting status, it is one of...

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Chelimo floors Obiri at Cross Italica

World 1,500m silver medallist Margaret Chelimo stunned World Cross Country champion Hellen Obiri to win the ‘Cross Internacional de Itálica’ in Seville, Spain on Sunday.

Chelimo cruised to victory in 28 minutes and 37 seconds beating compatriot and World Cross Country Under-20 champion Beatrice Chebet to second place in 28:49 as Ethiopian Tsehay Gemechun settled third in 29:00.

Obiri, who is also the World 5,000m champion, came in fourth in 29:27 followed by fellow countrywoman Eva Cherono in 29:41.

Ethiopian Radese Worku reigned to claim victory in the men’s race in 27:31 as 2016 Rio Olympics 5,000m silver medallist Paul Chelimo from United States clocked 27:42 for second.

Kenya’s Richard Yator took the last podium place in 27:48.

 

(01/19/2020) Views: 1,719 ⚡AMP
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Cross internacional de Italica

Cross internacional de Italica

The Cross Internacional de Itálica is an annual cross country running competition it will be held on 21st of November in Santiponce, near Seville, Spain. Inaugurated in 1982, the race course is set in the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Italica. As one of only two Spanish competitions to hold IAAF permit meeting status, it is one of...

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Ethiopia’s Tadese Worku and Kenya’s Hellen Obiri will be the favorites athletes at the Cross Internacional de Itálica in Santiponce on Sunday

Ethiopia’s Tadese Worku and Kenya’s Hellen Obiri will be the marquee athletes at the ‘Cross Internacional de Itálica’ in Santiponce on the outskirts of Seville on Sunday, the sixth leg of the 2019/20 World Athletics Cross Country Permit series.

The event promises to be a rematch of last Sunday’s races in Elgoibar as both podiums will be on show again.

Will Worku confirm breakthrough?

Turning 18 the day after the race, the young Ethiopian will be happy to celebrate his birthday one day in advance with a victory to confirm his overwhelming win last weekend was no fluke. The reigning world U-20 cross country silver medalist proved to be in stellar form last Sunday and should be tipped as the main favorite in the 10km event.

One of his stiffest opponents should be Burundi’s Thierry Ndikumwenayo, the 22-year-old who will be making his sixth appearance on Spanish soil this cross country campaign. He’s produced three wins -- in Alcobendas (Nov 24), Aranda de Duero ( Dec 1) and Cantimpalos (Dec 8) -- plus a runner-up finish in Soria ( Nov 17). The Italy-based runner, who was ninth at the World Cross Country Championships in Aarhus last year, only finished outside the top-five in Atapuerca (Nov 9) where he finished sixth.

Kenya’s Richard Yator and Aron Kifle, runner-up and third respectively in Elgoibar should also be in contention. The Kenyan was 13th in Aarhus while Kifle has changed his base from Madrid to Nijmegen after joining the Global Sports agency. He will be joined by fellow Eritrean Yemane Haileselassie, an 8:11.22 3000m steeplechase specialist who reached the Rio Olympics final.

Watch out too for USA’s Paul Chelimo and Shadrack Kipchirchir. The former is the reigning Olympic 5000m silver medalist and is fresh from a fourth place in Elgoibar while Kipchirchir came tenth at the Doha worlds over 10,000m and holds a PB of 27:07.55 set in 2017.

Obiri the woman to beat

The women’s cast is headed by the reigning world cross country champion Hellen Obiri. The 30-year-old Kenyan kicked-off her winter campaign successfully in Elgoibar where, after running alongside compatriot Beatrice Chebet for most of the race, broke away from the reigning world U20 cross country on the last lap.

The 19-year-old Chebet should pose the main danger for Obiri, again alongside the reigning world 5000m silver medalist Margaret Kipkemboi Chelimo. The 26-year-old captured a surprise silver in Doha where she set a lifetime best of 14:27.49 and has shown fine form recently by winning a 5km road race in Bolzano on 31 December before taking second at the Campaccio cross country on January 6.

Trying to deny a Kenyan clean sweep over the 9135m contest will be Ethiopia’s Tsehay Gemechu, fourth at the Doha worlds over 5000m in a career best of 14:29.60. Barely two weeks later the 21-year-old set a 1:06:00 personal record for the half marathon in New Delhi. She’ll be racing her first race of the year on Sunday. Gemechu will be joined by fellow Ethiopian Tsige Abreha, the winner in Amorebieta. Kenya’s Eva Cherono, third in Elgoibar, and Bahrain’s World Championships marathon silver medalist Rose Chelimo will also be on show.

 

(01/17/2020) Views: 1,627 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Cross internacional de Italica

Cross internacional de Italica

The Cross Internacional de Itálica is an annual cross country running competition it will be held on 21st of November in Santiponce, near Seville, Spain. Inaugurated in 1982, the race course is set in the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Italica. As one of only two Spanish competitions to hold IAAF permit meeting status, it is one of...

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Uganda’s teen phenomenon Jacob Kiplimo ran to victory at the Cross Internacional de Italica

Uganda’s teen phenomenon Jacob Kiplimo and Kenya’s world steeplechase record holder Beatrice Chepkoech captured commanding victories at the Cross Internacional de Itálica in Santiponce.

Held on a pleasant and dry afternoon with the temperature about 66F (19C), the men’s 9.9km event didn’t kick off particularly fast as a large pack covered the opening two kilometers in 5:50, led by Bahrain’s Albert Rop while the main favorites ran conservatively in these early stages.

The following 1.95km circuit took a faster 5:38 with eight men still in the heading group which included Rop, the Ugandan trio of Kiplimo, world 10,000m silver medallist Joshua Cheptegei and Mande Bushendich, Kenya’s Vincent Rono, Morocco’s world steeplechase silver medalist Soufiane El Bakkali and the Spanish pair of Toni Abadía and David Palacio who were fresh from respective performances of 7:47:60 an 7:54:33 over 3000m indoors last Friday in Valencia. Morocco’s 2012 Olympic 1500m bronze medalist Abdelaati Iguider dropped out during the second lap.

At halfway Abadía moved to the front and shared the lead for a while with the top Africans but shortly afterwards it was the teen phenomenon Kiplimo who injected a brisker pace which could only be followed by Cheptegei, Rop, Rono and the long-legged El Bakkali.

Kiplimo’s relentless rhythm – a frantic 5:23 for the fourth loop – soon paid off and he only had Cheptegei for company some 18 minutes into the race and they built a huge margin on Rop, Rono and El Bakkali.

Defending champion Cheptegei, who was aiming to match his fellow Ugandan Matthew Kisorio’s achievement of back-to-back titles (2008 and 2009) could only stay with Kiplimo for four minutes as his younger compatriot unleashed a devastating kick with the clock reading 22:10 to open a sizable margin on him already inside the closing lap. To the astonishment of the assembled crowd, Kiplimo effectively ended the race in a matter of seconds as Cheptegi proved to be unable to follow in his footsteps.

A stellar Kiplimo even smiled to the crowd during the last lap, his ease suggesting he still had another gear if necessary, while Rop began to threaten Cheptegei’s runner-up place way back.

The closing lap only took 5:15 for the 18-year-old leader and he romped home unopposed to claim his fourth victory of the current IAAF Cross Country Permit series and avenge his defeat from 12 months ago. Cheptegei managed to keep Rop at bay to take the runner-up spot.

“I decided to run conservatively for the first half of the race, then I changed the pace and felt great until the end,” said an all-smiles Kiplimo. The Ugandan rising star confirmed he will contest the senior race at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships Aarhus 2019 on 30 March, even though he would be young enough to defend his U20 title.

Asked about his chances of breaking the world 10,000m record on the track after his impressive 26:41 road performance in Madrid, he said: “why not? That’s a long-term goal in my career.”

(01/21/2019) Views: 2,056 ⚡AMP
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Cross internacional de Italica

Cross internacional de Italica

The Cross Internacional de Itálica is an annual cross country running competition it will be held on 21st of November in Santiponce, near Seville, Spain. Inaugurated in 1982, the race course is set in the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Italica. As one of only two Spanish competitions to hold IAAF permit meeting status, it is one of...

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Ugandans Jacob Kiplimo and Joshua Cheptegei will face off at the Cross Internacional de Itálica on Sunday

The pair are currently two of the world’s leading distance runners.

They clashed last year in this race, the victory going to Joshua Cheptegei on that occasion while Jacob Kiplimo finished runner-up barely one second behind so Sunday’s event will act as a rematch over the 9975m distance.

The 22-year-old Cheptegei looked destined for gold at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships Kampala 2017 before fatigue set in during the closing stages, forcing him to settle for 30th place. However, he bounced back that season by earning10,000m silver at the IAAF World Championships London 2017 in a huge career best of 26:49.94.

His 2018 accolades include a brilliant 5000/10,000m double victory at the Commonwealth Games in April and more recently a world best over 15km with a stunning 41:05 performance at the Seven Hills Run in Nijmegen on 18 November.

As for Kiplimo, still just 18, he remains unbeaten this winter season having won all four of his appearances on Spanish soil: the Atapuerca, Soria and Alcobendas Cross Country permit races plus the New Year’s eve 10km race in Madrid when he clocked an impressive 26:41, albeit on an aided course. The two Ugandan aces should play a key role at World Cross Country Championships in Aarhus on 30 March and Sunday’s race will mark the season’s first round between the pair.

Mande Bushendich might well complete the podium in what would be an Ugandan clean sweep. The 21-year-old proved to be in top form in Madrid’s New Year’s Eve 10km with a 27:24 clocking to his name.

Kenya’s Vincent Rono, a creditable seventh at the Kampala World Championships and recent winner in Venta de Baños on 16 December, will also be in contention alongside Bahrain’s Albert Rop who is fresh from a victory in Amman on 5 January.

Watch out too for Morocco’s Soufiane El Bakkali, the reigning world 3000m steeplechase silver medallist; the 23-year-old boasts an impressive 7:58:15 career best which places him in the top-ten on the all-time lists. He will be joined by his compatriot Abdelaati Iguider, the 2012 world indoor champion and Olympic bronze medallist over 1500m.

(01/19/2019) Views: 2,413 ⚡AMP
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Cross internacional de Italica

Cross internacional de Italica

The Cross Internacional de Itálica is an annual cross country running competition it will be held on 21st of November in Santiponce, near Seville, Spain. Inaugurated in 1982, the race course is set in the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Italica. As one of only two Spanish competitions to hold IAAF permit meeting status, it is one of...

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Commonwealth 10,000m champion Stella Chesang is the woman to beat this weekend at Cross International de Italica

The 22-year-old Ugandan finished a fine second in Elgoibar last Sunday and should be regarded as one of the main favorites at this weekend’s 9135m event. Kenya’s current world 3000m steeplechase record holder Beatrice Chepkoech, who came third in Elgoibar some 17 seconds behind Chesang, will arguably be the Ugandan’s fiercest opponent alongside Ethiopia’s Gete Alemayehu, the 20-year-old who won the Houilles 10km on 30 December in a massive lifetime best of 31:12.

Turkey’s Yasmine Can had a below-par performance in Elgoibar where she had to settle for a distant fourth but the triple European cross country champion should be eager to bounce back and be in the hunt for the podium places.

Spain’s Trihas Gebre, Uganda’s Esther Chebet and Kenya’s Hellen Ekarare Lobun will be aiming for a top-five finish. The Ethiopian-born Spaniard is fresh from a national 10km record of 31:39 in Valencia last Sunday while Chebet clocked 31:53 at Madrid’s New Year’s eve race where Gebre clocked 31:40. As for Lobun, she was a creditable fifth over 5000m at last summer’s World U20 Championships and boasts a 15:16:53 PB. The 19-year-old Kenyan will be making her first outing of the year.

(01/18/2019) Views: 2,110 ⚡AMP
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Cross internacional de Italica

Cross internacional de Italica

The Cross Internacional de Itálica is an annual cross country running competition it will be held on 21st of November in Santiponce, near Seville, Spain. Inaugurated in 1982, the race course is set in the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Italica. As one of only two Spanish competitions to hold IAAF permit meeting status, it is one of...

more...
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IAAF Says Cross Country Running should Be More Extreme and Edgier

Cross country running should move towards a more extreme, edgier style to attract new audiences as well as a new breed of cross country runner to the discipline. That was one of the main recommendations made by the IAAF Cross Country Committee at its meeting on Saturday (20) in Seville. Meeting on the eve of the Cross de Italica in Seville, one of the world’s premiere cross country races, attendees also discussed the formation of a competitive but more compact international series. (01/24/2018) Views: 1,469 ⚡AMP
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