Atapuerca (Burgos), Spain Ã¢â‚¬â€œÃ‚Â The IAAF Cross Country Permit Series 2012/13Ã‚Â got underway today with a magnificent spectacle at the 9th Ã¢â‚¬ËœCross Internacional de AtapuercaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ which witnessed respective victories of the reigning World Cross Country champion Imane Merga of Ethiopia and his compatriot Ayalew Hiwot Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 5th at the London Olympics in the 3000m steeplechase – on the womenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s side on a cold (5Ã‚ÂºC) and windy day with gusts of up to 30km/h.
While Merga outsprinted the Kenyan pair of Emmanuel Bett and Vincent Chepkok in the closing 300 metres to grab a two-second victory, Hiwot took advantage of the current World silver medallist Linet MasaiÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s fall inside the final kilometre to capture a still convincingÃ‚Â winÃ‚Â over the Kenyan ace.
Conservative Merga singes scorching final
The 9.807km menÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s race opened quite slowly, the best hint being no less than 40 athletes comprising the extremely large heading group by the 3000m point which was covered in 9:02 with ItalyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s reigning European 10,000m silver medallist Daniele Meucci making most of the early pace closely followed by a plethora of Africans comfortably running at his shoulder. Read more