NI International Cross Country: Bahrain’s Balew and Ethiopia’s Mamo earn wins

Ethiopian-born Birhanu Balew of Bahrain (photo: Getty Images)

African-born athletes dominated the IAAF Northern Ireland Cross Country event as Bahrain’s Birhanu Balew and Ethiopia’s Meskerem Mamo took the wins.

Ethiopian-born Balew, 22, finished four seconds ahead of Kenya’s Richard Yator as he won in 29 minutes and 42 seconds. 

Balew won the 5,000m title at last year’s Asian Games and set his personal best of 13:01.09 over the distance when winning at the Lausanne Diamond League meeting last July.

Another Ethiopian Chala Beyo took third with Kenya’s Olympic 10,000m silver medallist Paul Tanui in fourth.

Mamo, 19, held off compatriot Hawi Feysa to win the women’s event with Ireland’s Fionnuala McCormack sixth.

Twice event winner McCormack, making her return to action after giving birth for the first time in October, finished one minute and 14 seconds behind Mamo.

Kent athlete Emily Hosker Thornhill, 26, was the leading UK and Irish women’s finisher in fifth – four seconds ahead of McCormack.

Read more at: BBC Sport