Ayalew defeats Masai at the Cross l’Acier, Kangogo defends men’s title

HiwotAyalewEthiopia’s Hiwot Ayalew continued her good form of recent weeks and won the women’s 6.55km race at the Cross L’Acier in the French town of Leffrinckoucke on Sunday (24).

Seven days after winning the IAAF Cross Country Permit race in Atapuerca, Spain, the 2013 IAAF World Cross Country Championships silver medallist made it two wins in a row around the town’s Fort de Dunes, a set of World War I military fortifications, crossing the line in 22:30.

Ayalew had a tremendous race-long duel with Kenya’s Linet Masai, a three-time World Cross Country Championships silver medallist and twice a previous winner at the French race, before she eventually prevailed by one second; a much narrower margin of victory then the nine-second advantage she had over the same rival on Spanish soil the previous week.

However, there was some satisfaction for Kenya as Cornelius Kangogo retained his men’s title at the Cross L’Acier, winning the men’s  9.5km race in 28:07.

Ethiopians filled the next two slots behind Kangogo with Azmeraw Mengistu second in 28:14 and 17-year-old Yihunlign Adane third in 28:28.

It is worth noting that Adane, 13th in the junior men’s race at the 2013 IAAF World Cross Country Championships, will not only still be a junior next year, where he will have medal ambitions at the IAAF World Junior Championships, but also in 2015 when the next edition of the IAAF World Cross Country Championships will be held in the Chinese city of Guiyang. Read more