Show of class as Kenya tops World Cross Country again

Beatrice Chebet celebrates after winning in Belgrade.[World Athletics]

It was a display of pure class and dominance as Kenya's battalion to the 2024 World Cross Country Championships controlled the proceedings at the global event on Saturday.

Kenya confirmed its superiority in cross country by successfully defending the 2023 crown in the showdown staged at the Park of Friendship in Belgrade, Serbia.

Cross country queen Beatrice Chebet anchored Kenyan arsenal to a clean podium sweep in the senior women's contest.

Chebet, who shattered the 5km World Record last December, successfully defended her 2023 individual title and the team Kenya crown in her category.

She led a 1-2-3-4-5 Kenyan finish in another majestic cruise to the top place. She became the back-to-back world cross country champion.

“It feels incredible to achieve this amazing feat once again…. Thank you all for the incredible support and love,” Chebet said after after the win.

She stormed to victory in 31:05 and was joined at the podium by 2017 World Cross Country bronze medallist Lilian Kasait who took silver and World 5000m silver medallist Margaret Chelimo, who managed a bronze medal.

Agnes Ngetich, the 10km world record breaker finished fifth behind training mate Emmaculate Anyango.

Former World Under-20 5000m champion Benson Kiplangat brought home a bronze medal in the men’s senior cross country.

Kiplangat finished behind Uganda Jacob Kiplimo who successfully defended his 2023 title and Ethiopian Berihu Aregawi who secured silver.

African Under-20 10,000m bronze medallist Samuel Kibathi became the new World Cross Country junior champion.

Kibathi, 19, stormed to victory in the men's junior cross country contest as compatriot Matthew Kipruto completed the podium with a bronze medal for Kenya. Ethiopia's Mezgebu Sime ran 22:41 to win silver in the hotly contested race.

Kibathi cut the tape in 22:50 while Kipruto,18, finished the junior men's race in 22:46.

Kenyan junior men, John Erot and Charles Rotich settled in the fifth and sixth places respectively.

"It was my first world championships, and it means a lot to me to win here. The pace was very fast and it almost ruined my plans for this race….. I was really pushing fast towards the finish because I needed this win,” said Kibathi.

The new junior cross country champion said he was heading to Japan for his training before returning to the country for the 2024 Paris Olympics trials.

Ethiopian youngsters produced a clean podium sweep in the women's Under-20 showpiece.

Marta Alemayo took the crown in a time of 19:28, with compatriots Asayeth Ayichew and Robe Dida winning silver and bronze in 19:32 and 19:38 respectively.

Kenyan stars, Sheila Jebet and Diana Cherotich finished fourth and fifth respectively in the women's cat-fight.

Kenyan 4x2km Mixed Relay squad has successfully defended its 2023 title.

The squad of World Under-20 1500m champion Reynold Cheruiyot, Virginia Nyambura, Kyumbe Munguti and Purity Chepkirui, the 2021 World Under-20 1500m gold medallist took the crown in a spectacular relay showdown at the Park of Friendship in Belgrade.

The Kenyan team stylishly overcame strong opposition from Ethiopia and Great Britain to win the relay.

They won the race in 22:15 as Ethiopia settled for silver in a time of 22:43.

Kenya once again topped the charts with 11 medals; six gold, two silver and three bronze. Ethiopia and Uganda sat second and third on the medal table.

SELECTED RESULTS

SENIOR MEN

  1. Jacob Kiplimo (UGA) 28:09
  2. Berihu Aregawi (ETH) 28:12
  3. Benson Kiplangat (KEN) 28:14
  4. Nicholas Kipkorir (KEN) 28:16
  5. Samwel Chebolei Masai (KEN) 28:18
  6. Joshua Cheptegei (UGA)      28:24

JUNIOR MEN

  1. Samuel Kibathi (KEN) 22:40
  2. Mezgebu Sime (ETH) 22:41
  3. Matthew Kipkoech Kipruto (KEN 22:46
  4. Yismaw Dillu (ETH) 22:48
  5. Johana Erot (KEN) 22:49
  6. Charles Rotich (KEN) 22:51

SENIOR WOMEN

  1. Beatrice Chebet 31:04
  2. Lilian Kasait 31:08
  3. Margaret Chelimo 31:09
  4. Emmaculate Anyango 31:24
  5. Agnes Ngetich 31:27
  6. Sarah Chelangat (UG) 32:00

Team medal standing

Country      G        S       B

Kenya         6        2       3

Ethiopia     2       6        2

Uganda      1        1       3

Great Britain 0   0       1

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