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Ingebrigtsen and Kamworor disappointed at World Cross-Country Champs in Denmark

Kenya's Hellen Obiri and Uganda's Joshua Cheptegei made history on the incredibly demanding course in Aarhus

Jakob Ingebrigtsen finished a disappointing 12th in the junior men’s race at the World Cross-Country Championships in Aarhus, Denmark this morning, 47 seconds behind medallists Mikesa Mengesha of Ethiopia, who finished the five loops in 23:52, Tadese Worku of Ethiopia and Oscar Chelimo of Uganda. Commentators pointed out that no European male has medalled in this event in 35 years.

Kenyan favourite Hellen Obiri took it out hard and dominated the senior women’s race almost from the beginning. Obiri became the first woman ever to win world indoor (3,000m), outdoor (5,000m) and cross-country titles. Her countryman Geoffrey Kamworor, however, failed in his bid for a third World XC title, finishing a disappointing third as Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei (31:40) became the first person to win that honour for Uganda. Jacob Kiplimo, also of Uganda, took the silver medal. Kiplimo is only 18.

RELATED: Behind the scenes at the World Cross-Country Championships

Obiri held off Dere Dida of Ethiopia, winning by two seconds, in 36:14 on the incredibly demanding, hilly course. Letesenbet Gidey of Ethiopia was third.

Canada’s Gen Lalonde squeaked out a top 20 finish (38:10), Canada’s best result since 2004. Natasha Wodak was second Canadian, in 43rd place, and Kate Ayers was third Canadian, in 57th place, out of 123 starters. In the senior men’s race, Canada’s Ben Preisner was the first Canadian across the line, in 77th place, followed by Rory Linkletter in 82nd place, and Yves Sikubwabo in 91st. One hundred and forty-six men started.

In the senior women’s team results, Ethiopia took the win with 21 points, Kenya was second with 25 points, and Uganda third with 36 points. Canada finished in seventh place with 186 points.

In the senior men’s team results, it was Uganda in top spot with 20 points, followed by Kenya (43 points) and Ethiopia (46 points).

The festivities kicked off with the mixed 8K relay, followed by the women’s U20 race. In both, it was Ethiopia vs. Kenya, right down to the anchor leg in the relay, with Ethiopia ending up scoring a decisive victory over Morocco and Kenya. However Morocco was later disqualified for a wristband handover infraction, which allowed the US team to move up to take the bronze medal.

The women’s U20 finish was extremely close. Kenyan national champion Beatrice Chebet was initially awarded bronze, behind Ethiopians Alemitsu Tariku and Tsigie Gebreselama, but this decision was later overturned, with Chebet being awarded gold for Kenya, Tariku silver and Gebreselama bronze. Ethiopians also finished in fifth and seventh place.

In the women’s U20 team results, it was Ethiopia in first with 17 points, followed by Kenya with 26 points and Japan with 72 points. Canada finished in sixth place with 138 points.

In the U20 men’s race, Mikesa Mengesha of Ethiopia took the gold medal, in 23:52, followed by countryman Tadese Worku in second place two seconds behind him, and Oscar Chelimo of Uganda in third. Ethiopia was the top team, with 18 points. Uganda was second, with 32 points, and Kenya third, with 34 points.


The sunshine and moderate temperatures of 10 to 12 C were deceiving, since the course has been widely acknowledged as one of the most difficult ever devised for this competition, with almost no place for runners to catch their breath between the course’s punishing ascents and descents (in particular, the 10 per cent incline up the roof of the Moesgaard Museum).

For full results, click here.

RELATED: No hygge here: World XC course to feature Vikings, mud and nasty climbs




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