In the battle of East Africa, and with an impressive start-to-finish victory, Agnes Tirop brought home Kenya’s 300th IAAF World Cross Country Championships medal and became the youngest senior women’s winner since Zola Budd in 1985 when taking the honours in Guiyang here today. However, Ethiopian won the overall team title with 6 athletes finishing in the top 10. The other 4 spots were taken by Kenya.
Ethiopia’s Senbere Teferi, just a few months older than her Kenyan rival, was the only one to challenge Tirop as the remaining athletes slowly dropped away one after another, leaving the two 19-year-olds as the last two contenders for the gold medal.
Teferi eventually had to accept defeat in the final 200 metres of the race, crossing the line in 26:06, five seconds clear of her compatriot Netsanet Gudeta in third.
In the end, it was Ethiopia who came out on top, with just two points separating the two nations, 17 points to the Kenyans’ 19 to end their five-year winning streak in this category.
East African neighbours Uganda, the host country for the 2017 championships which will take place in the capital Kampala, took third place for their first ever senior women’s medals, either in the individual race or in the team contest.
Ethiopia’s Alemitu Heroye came home fourth to also get the better of defending champion Chebet.
Chebet ended up in sixth place with 26:18, struggling in the final few hundred metres and overtaken by compatriot Stacy Ndiwa as the line loomed.
Eritrea’s Nazret Weldu came home 11th in 27:19 to be the first woman from outside Ethiopia or Kenya to cross the line while Spain’s Tirhas Gebre finished 15th, making her the highest-ranked European athlete.
|1||Agnes Jebet TIROP||KEN||26:01|
|5||Stacy Chepkemboi NDIWA||KEN||26:16|
|6||Emily Chebet MUGE||KEN||26:18|
|7||Irene Chepet CHEPTAI||KEN||26:26|
|4||PR of China||PR of China||122|
|5||United States||United States||128|