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Beatrice Chebet and Jacob Kiplimo are two-time winners at World Cross Country Championships

Quebec's Philippe Morneau-Cartier (Quebec) and B.C.'s Glynis Sim were the top-ranked Canadians in the senior men's and women's races

beatrice chebet Oregon Photo by: Kevin Morris

It wa a warm day in Belgrade, Serbia on Saturday, where Kenya’s Beatrice Chebet and Uganda’s Jacob Kiplimo both successfully defended their World Athletics Cross Country Championships titles in the women’s and men’s senior (10K) categories, and also led their respective senior women’s and men’s teams to victory.

The World Cross Country Championships is a one-day event that features five championship races: a senior men’s and senior women’s 10K, U20 men’s 8K, U20 women’s 6K and an 8K mixed relay. Canada sent a team of 28 athletes to the event.

Temperatures were already into the low 20s Celsius when the races began Saturday morning, starting with the junior (U20) women’s (6K) and men’s (8K) races and the 8K mixed relay, and were considerably hotter by the time the senior races started. 

The course was a relatively flat and grassy 2-km loop, with a few hay bales and bridges and muddy sections.

The senior men’s race

In the men’s race, Kiplimo launched an attack on the final lap, shattering a lead group that included Gideon Rono and the Ugandan Olympic 5,000m champion, Joshua Cheptegei. Kiplimo sped across the finish alone in 28:09, with 5K world record holder Berihu Aregawi of Ethiopia three seconds behind in 28:12. Kenya’s Benson Kiplangat clinched the bronze medal in 28:14. Kenya won the team event with a score of 19; Uganda was second, with 31 points and Ethiopia third with 40. Team Spain was fourth, with 99 points.

The senior women’s race

In the senior women’s category, Chebet led a pack of five Kenyan contenders at the halfway mark. Near the end of the race, Chebet and fellow Kenyan runners Lilian Rengeruk and Margaret Kipkemboi surged ahead, with Chebet charging past her compatriots to secure the win in 31:05. Rengeruk followed closely behind in 31:08, while Kipkemboi took third place in 31:09. 

In team results, it was Kenya first, with 10 points, Ethiopia second with 41 and Uganda third, with 44; the USA was fourth, with 113 points.

Dutch distance star Sifan Hassan was set to make her World Cross Country Championships debut, after a fourth-place effort in the Tokyo Marathon on March 3, but withdrew several days before the event The 2021 double Olympic champion in the 5,000 and 10,000 wrote on Instagram that she needs to give her body time to heal while focusing on her preparation for Paris.

Team Canada results

Nine sets of medals were awarded in five races on Saturday, with team and individual medals for men and women at both under-20 and senior levels, as well as in a mixed relay.

Canadian 2023 U Sports champion and AC Nationals silver medallist Philippe Morneau-Cartier of La Pocatière, Que., was the top Canadian finisher in the senior men’s race in 41st, crossing the line in 30:04, with Canadian 2023 cross country silver medallist Glynis Sim of Salmon Arm, B.C., taking the top Canadian’s spot in the senior women’s race, finishing in 38th in 34:37. The Canadian senior men’s team finished 11 out of 15 teams, while the senior women’s team finished 8 out of 12.

Senior men’s race 

41 Philippe Morneau-Cartier (La Pocatière, Que.) 30:04
57 Andrew Davies (Sarnia, Ont.) 30:27
63 Thomas Fafard (Repentigny, Que.) 30:44
80 Mike Tate (Antigonish, N.S.) 32:24

Senior women’s race

38 Glynis Sim (Salmon Arm, B.C.) 34:37
42 Leslie Sexton (Markham, Ont.) 34:55
44 Katelyn Ayers (Victoria) 35:04
50 Kate Bazeley (St. John’s) 35:17
54 Mikaela Lucki (Toronto) 35:42

For more results from the 2024 World Cross Country Championships, click here.

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