Athletics: Cheruiyot and Kasait top cross-country races

World 1,500m silver medallist Timothy Cheruiyot and fellow Kenyan Margaret Chelimo Kipkemboi took top honours at the 41st Antrim International Cross Country in Greenmount on Saturday, the first IAAF Cross Country Permit meeting this year.

Cheruiyot improved upon his 2016 third-place finish as he produced an excellent display to win by milliseconds over Ethiopia’s Mogos Tuemay.

Cheruiyot led a lead group of seven after the opening lap, with Antrim regular Andy Vernon in second spot, and Morocco’s world steeplechase silver medalist Soufiane Elbakkali in third. That lead group was cut to six at the end of the second lap with Tuemay moving into second.

Meanwhile James Kibet and Lilian Kasait claimed a Kenyan double at the 61st edition of Campaccio on a rainy and cold day at the IAAF Cross Country Permit meeting in San Giorgio su Legnano.

Kibet won a close men’s 10km race in 29:34 holding off Ethiopian Tesfaye Deriba and Olympic 5000m silver medallist Paul Chelimo in a thrilling final sprint.

World cross-country bronze medallist Rengeruk edged world 10,000m bronze medallist Agnes Tirop by one second.

A leading group formed by Kibet, Chelimo, Deriba, Uganda’s Mande Bushendich, Italian steeplechase specialist Italo Quazzola, European marathon record-holder Sondre Moen, Abdi Bashir from Belgium, Filmon Ande from Eritrea and European under-23 cross-country bronze medallist Yeman Crippa took the lead in the early stages, going through the first lap in 6:11.

Pre-event favourite Chelimo went to the front after two laps in 12:06 closely followed by Kibet, Crippa, Bashir, Bushendich, Ande, Moen and Deriba.  [Jonathan Komen and IAAF]

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