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Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei named Sportsman of the year

Joshua Cheptegei surprised the world at the 2019 World Cross Country Championships in Aarhus, Denmark.

Friday night, Joshua Cheptegei was crowned 2018 Nile Special –Uganda Sports Press Association (USPA) Sportsman of the year a befitting honor at Imperial Royale Hotel.

Cheptegei was voted the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) Moment of the Month for his outstanding performance in Aarhus, where he led a Ugandan 1-2 finish with Compatriot Jacob Kiplimo taking silver.  

“My big motivation was Kololo 2017 when I got a muscle pull before the home crowd but I have moved on. The Kenyans and Ethiopians should know we are coming , the end of a race in athletics is the beginning of a new one”.

(04/07/2019) ⚡AMP
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IAAF/Mikkeller World Cross Country Championships

IAAF/Mikkeller World Cross Country Championships

Aarhus will be hosting the IAAF/Mikkeller World Cross Country Championships 2019 at Moesgaard Museum. And you can participate! It will be a unique and wild event on the grassy, sloping roof of the Moesgaard Museum and in the nature area around the spectacular building. The 2K loop offers not only a trip up an down the roof of Moesgaard Museum,...

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Hellen Obiri wins at the IAAF/Mikkeller World Cross Country Championships Aarhus

The world 5000m champion, Hellen Obiri became the first woman in history to win senior world titles indoors, outdoors and at cross country. The only man to achieve such a feat is Kenenisa Bekele.

“It is really special,” smiled Obiri after completing the 10.24km course in 36:14. “It was my debut IAAF World Cross Country Championships and my only chance to do it. I now don't need to do any more cross country.”

Obiri arrived in Aarhus in good form, having clocked 29:59 for 10km at the end of December and winning at the IAAF Cross Country Permit meeting in Elgoibar in January and at the Kenyan Cross Country Championships last month.

The 29-year-old had clearly also thought about her tactics ahead of this weekend. She led the race from the early stages and could be seen visibly leaning into the hill as she tackled the climb up the Moesgaard Museum roof on each lap.

“I thought you must look down, as you don't want to look up to see where you are going and at how difficult the hill is,” she revealed of her technique. “I knew it wasn't going to be a test of speed, as it was a tough hill. It was all about mind games.”

At the end of the second of five laps, a group of five had already broken away, led by Obiri in 14:16, with sub-2:22 marathon runner Dera Dida, world U20 steeplechase silver medallist Peruth Chemutai, steeplechase world record-holder Beatrice Chepkoech and two-time world U20 cross-country champion Letesenbet Gidey in close procession.

(03/30/2019) ⚡AMP
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IAAF/Mikkeller World Cross Country Championships

IAAF/Mikkeller World Cross Country Championships

Aarhus will be hosting the IAAF/Mikkeller World Cross Country Championships 2019 at Moesgaard Museum. And you can participate! It will be a unique and wild event on the grassy, sloping roof of the Moesgaard Museum and in the nature area around the spectacular building. The 2K loop offers not only a trip up an down the roof of Moesgaard Museum,...

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Joshua Cheptegei takes the title by 25 meters at the senior men’s race at the World Cross-Country Championships

Two years ago, at his home championship in Kampala, Cheptegei looked all over the winner when he had dashed to a 60-metre lead at the start of the final lap. But his apparently decisive move came too soon. Half-way around the final lap he was in trouble. Soon after that he literally did not know where he was.

Today in Aarhus was atonement day, as Cheptegei dashed clear of precocious teammate Jacob Kiplimo and defending champion Geoffrey Kamworor to take the world title by 25 meters in 31:40 over the 10,240m course. Again he did not know where he was, because he has never been a senior world champion before. Now, he had arrived at a long-held goal.

It got better and better for Cheptegei. With Kiplimo second, Thomas Ayeko seventh and Joseph Ayeko tenth, Uganda wrapped up the teams race as well. That was another first, the first time Uganda has taken either a senior or junior gold medal. At senior level, the previous best was bronze medals in Mombasa in 2007 and Kampala last time.

Despite his burn-out, it was Cheptegei’s 30th place finish which clinched the team bronze medal. He contributed, even while out on his feet. Some of that grit no doubt helped over the twisting, turning, climbing and swooping Aarhus course.

As with all races on the day, the steep climb and headlong descent of the roof of the Moesgaard Museum played a major role in dictating the manner in which the senior men’s race was run and in determining how it finished. Cheptegei did not always look the strongest on the roof, but he was when it counted most on the final lap.

The steep, uphill start turned normal world cross-country protocol on its head. The charge off the line in the men’s race looked familiar, but the first lap was by some way the slowest 2km split of the race, which then got quicker and quicker by the lap.

Ugandan vests were always prominent in the lead pack, even when it numbered up to 30 in the early stages. Uganda started with four in the top 10 and finished the same way.

Almost from the outset, however, it was Kiplimo who was the aggressor. He pushed the pace up the roof in the second lap and soon after they entered the third lap he had pulled Cheptegei, Kamworor and Eritrea’s Aron Kifle clear.

While Rhonex Kipruto and Selemon Barega had tried to bridge that gap, by the half-way mark of the race it was clear there were only four who could win. Into the fourth lap, that was down to three as Kifle dropped off, but the Eritrean athlete was still well clear of the chasers and held that place all the way to the line, improving one position on his Kampala race.

Kamworor had raced conservatively, always shadowing every move but rarely leading himself. As the leaders entered the fourth lap, however, he appeared to be trying to assert his authority.

(03/30/2019) ⚡AMP
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IAAF/Mikkeller World Cross Country Championships

IAAF/Mikkeller World Cross Country Championships

Aarhus will be hosting the IAAF/Mikkeller World Cross Country Championships 2019 at Moesgaard Museum. And you can participate! It will be a unique and wild event on the grassy, sloping roof of the Moesgaard Museum and in the nature area around the spectacular building. The 2K loop offers not only a trip up an down the roof of Moesgaard Museum,...

more...
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Jakob Ingebrigtsen is aiming to make history in Aarhus Denmark

It has been 25 years since a European athlete last finished in the top 10 in the U20 men’s race at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships. The last individual medallist – a gold one at that – from Europe came 10 years before that.

But Jakob Ingebrigtsen could be capable of rewriting both of those statistics when he lines up for the U20 men’s race in Aarhus, Denmark.

The 18-year-old Norwegian caused a stir last year when he won the 1500m and 5000m at the senior European Championships in Berlin, setting a continental U20 record of 13:17.06 in the latter. One month prior he had set a European U20 1500m record of 3:31.18 in Monaco.

After winning his third consecutive European U20 cross-country title in December, he beat world indoor record-holder Samuel Tefera over 1500m in Dusseldorf in February and went on to win 3000m gold and 1500m silver at the European Indoor Championships in Glasgow.

Ingebrigtsen boasts the fastest track PBs of the field and has considerably more international racing experience. But he has never raced farther than 6.3km and could become something of a target if some of the stronger nations utilise team tactics.

All 39 individual medals on offer in the U20 men's race from the past 13 editions have been shared between Kenya (23), Ethiopia (10) and Uganda (6). The same three nations once again look poised to battle it out for individual and team medals.

Unsurprisingly, the Kenyan team appears to be the strongest. Led by national U20 cross-country champion Samuel Chebolei, the team also includes Commonwealth Youth Games 3000m champion Edwin Kiplangat Bett, who finished eighth in the U20 men’s race two years ago in Kampala, and Leonard Bett, the world U18 steeplechase champion.

(03/29/2019) ⚡AMP
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IAAF/Mikkeller World Cross Country Championships

IAAF/Mikkeller World Cross Country Championships

Aarhus will be hosting the IAAF/Mikkeller World Cross Country Championships 2019 at Moesgaard Museum. And you can participate! It will be a unique and wild event on the grassy, sloping roof of the Moesgaard Museum and in the nature area around the spectacular building. The 2K loop offers not only a trip up an down the roof of Moesgaard Museum,...

more...
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World Cross Country defending champion Geoffrey Kamworor is ready to defend his title this weekend

World Cross Country defending champion Geoffrey Kamworor has sent a warning to his opponents ahead of the world championships in Denmark that he is not ready to relinquish his title.

Kamworor will lead team Kenya for the championships to be held on the 30th of March seeking to make it a third in a row.

As defending champion, let’s take Kamworor first. Not only will he be going for his third straight senior title at cross-country in Aarhus, but also for a sixth straight world title in six years, his two previous cross-country victories in Guiyang (2015) and Kampala (2017), augmented by World Half Marathon championships in 2014, 2016 and 2018.

Kamworor has already joined the group of men to have won at least two world cross-country titles. A further triumph this weekend would put him in the select company of those to have won three or more – Kenenisa Bekele (six), John Ngugi and Paul Tergat (five) and Carlos Lopes (three).

He finished only fifth in the Kenyan championship, won by Amos Kirui, but neither the Kenyan, nor Ethiopian, trial has proven a reliable guide to relative finishing order at recent world championships.

Expect Kamworor to present on the start line at Aarhus in excellent shape. He deserves the status of the "man to beat."

There will be $310,000 of prize money on the line, certainly the most of any cross-country races.

(03/27/2019) ⚡AMP
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IAAF/Mikkeller World Cross Country Championships

IAAF/Mikkeller World Cross Country Championships

Aarhus will be hosting the IAAF/Mikkeller World Cross Country Championships 2019 at Moesgaard Museum. And you can participate! It will be a unique and wild event on the grassy, sloping roof of the Moesgaard Museum and in the nature area around the spectacular building. The 2K loop offers not only a trip up an down the roof of Moesgaard Museum,...

more...
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The Crown Prince of Denmark is so excited about the upcoming world cross-country championships that he decided to run it

This Saturday is the World Cross-Country Championships in Aarhus, Denmark. Many of the world’s best athletes will be competing, including world half-marathon champion and world 10,000m gold medallist Geoffrey Kamworor in the senior men’s race.

Also running is distance stud Jakob Ingebrigtsen in the U20 men’s race, 5,000m world champion Hellen Obiri in the senior women’s race and world juinor 5,000m champion Beatrice Chebet in the U20 women’s event.

The IAAF president and former Olympic medallist Seb Coe and Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark, are taking part in the 8K event.

The Crown Prince is an avid runner.

(03/27/2019) ⚡AMP
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IAAF/Mikkeller World Cross Country Championships

IAAF/Mikkeller World Cross Country Championships

Aarhus will be hosting the IAAF/Mikkeller World Cross Country Championships 2019 at Moesgaard Museum. And you can participate! It will be a unique and wild event on the grassy, sloping roof of the Moesgaard Museum and in the nature area around the spectacular building. The 2K loop offers not only a trip up an down the roof of Moesgaard Museum,...

more...
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