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Kite wins Spain cross country, Zakayo finishes second

ATHLETICS By Stephen Rutto | November 20th 2018

Kenya’s Gloria Kite won the 25th Cross Internacional de Soria as teenager Edward Zakayo settled finished second in the men’s category.

Cross Internacional de Soria is the second leg of the 2018-19 IAAF Cross Country Permit series held in the outskirts of Soria, Spain.

The 2017 Iten Cross Country champion braved the cloudy weather conditions IN Soria to win the 8km race on Sunday in 28:47.

She held Anna Emilie of Denmark (28:55) and Elena Loyo of Spain (29:11) to the second and third places respectively.

Kite, 20, ran alone and had already built up a lead within the opening kilometre. Following Sweden’s Meraf Bahta’s last-minute withdrawal, Denmark’s Anna Emilie Moller led the chasing pack but, to the surprise of everyone, Kite made a mistake in counting her laps.

Perhaps still scared after her mistake, Kite didn’t try to pull away again over the following kilometres and just ran alongside Moller and Spain’s Azucena Díaz.

When the Kenyan finally made her decisive move on the last lap, she didn’t face any opposition from her closest chaser Moller, whom she beat by seven seconds.

A come-from-behind Elena Loyo of Spain managed to take third place after a thrilling sprint finish with Roffino, both athletes being given the same time, 24 seconds adrift the winner.

Loyo, who has a marathon PB of 2:33:20, is coached by 1995 world marathon champion Martín Fiz and only took up athletics at the late age of 27.

In the men’s category, Kenya’s Edward Zakayo, 17, played second fiddle to Uganda’s Jacob Kiplimo in the race.

Kiplimo successfully defended his title in 30:11 and secured the sixth Ugandan men’s win in a row following in the footsteps of compatriots Dickson Huru (2013) and Timothy Toroitich (2014/2015/2016).

Zakayo, the Commonwealth Games silver medalist ran 30:33 ahead of Toroitich (30:45), also from Uganda.

After the third kilometre, the 18-year-old Kiplimo took command and upped the pace, but the other runners in the pack were able to go with it.

About 18 minutes into the race, the podium seemed to be decided as Kiplimo, Toroitich and Zakayo opened a sizeable gap on Medhin and the rest of chasers. Proving that his win in Atapuerca last week was not fluke, Kiplimo, who was wearing a long-sleeve t-shirt, broke away with incredible ease at the bell.

Zakayo trains and schools in Kapsait Secondary school, Elgeyo Marakwet under the coach Eric Kimaiyo.

With a magnificent display on the final lap, rising star Kiplimo gradually increased his lead over Zakayo to 22 seconds, himself another 12 seconds ahead of Toroitich in his fifth consecutive podium finish in Soria.

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