The 44th edition of the World Cross Country Championships was held on Saturday in Bathurst, Australia. The Ugandan Jacob Kiplimo succeeded his compatriot Joshua Cheptegei. The Kenyan, Beatrice Chebet, won the women's race.
Uganda has once again challenged the hegemony of Kenya. The Kenyans had indeed managed to achieve the double in the 2013, 2015 and 2017 editions of the World Cross Country Championships, which are held every two years, since 2011. In 2019, however, Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda ended the reign, winning the men's race.
After a 2021 edition cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Cheptegei was present in Australia to defend his title against a cohort of Kenyan and Ethiopian runners. The title eluded the Olympic 5000m champion who finished in third place. But he gave it to his compatriot and friend Jacob Kiplimo. Under the storm and complicated weather conditions, the 22-year-old runner completed the 10km cross country race in 29 minutes and 17 seconds. Ethiopian Berihu Aregawi (29mn26s) took 2nd place and Joshua Cheptegei completed the podium (29s37).
Letesenbet Gidey collapses 20 meters from the line
The women's race remains for Kenya. Beatrice Chebet won in 33 minutes and 48 seconds ahead of Ethiopian Tsigie Gebreselama (33mn56sec) and her compatriot Agnes Jebet Ngetich (34mn00). Since Ethiopia's Tirunesh Dibaba won in 2008, when the World Cross Country Championships were held every year, Kenyans have dominated the women's race at every edition.
Letesenbet Gidey, on the other hand, may take some time to digest her disappointment. Considered the favorite of the race, she was in the lead a few meters from the finish line. But the world champion of the 10000m collapsed. A member of the Ethiopian staff helped her to get up and finish the race in 4th place. But because of this external support, she was not classified by World Athletics. A big disappointment for the new queen of long distance running.
Dramatic ending in the women's senior race 🤯
Beatrice Chebet wins gold after Letesenbet Gidey falls metres from the finish line.
— World Athletics (@WorldAthletics) February 18, 2023
World Cross Country podiums
Senior men :
Senior women: Beatrice Chebet (Kenya, 33mn48), Tsigie Gebreselama (Ethiopia, 33mn56), Agnes Jebet Ngetich (Kenya, 34mn00)
Junior men : Ishmael Kipkurui (Kenya, 24mn29), Reynold Kipkorir Cheruiyot (Kenya, 24mn30), Boki Diriba (Ethiopia 24mn31)
Junior women : Senayet Getachew (Ethiopia, 20mn53), Medina Eisa (Ethiopia, 21mn00), Pamela Kosgei (Kenya 21mn01)