Posted by: Joe English | March 28, 2009

Cross-country — Ethiopia’s Gebremariam wins; Kenya takes title at World XC Championships

gebre-gebremariam-wins-2009-wxcc-champsAMMAN, JORDAN — In a thrilling finish, Gebre Gebremariam came from behind to outkick his rivals to win the 2009 World Cross-country Championships in Amman today. The Ethiopian Gebremariam knocked off his competition in the final sprint to take the individual title, while Kenya won the overall team title for the 22nd time in 24 years.

Gebremariam finished the 12KM long-course cross-country circuit in 35:02. A pair of finishers came in just two seconds back. Moses Kipsoro from Uganda and Zersenay Tadese of Eritrea finished second and third respectively in 35:04.

The first Kenyan finisher was Leonard Komon in fourth place, followed by Mathew Kisoro (6th), Mark Kiptoo (7th), and Moses Mosop (11th) to give Kenya the team title. The scoring was so close that it came down to a tie-breaker between Mosop and 12th place Feyisa Lilesa for Kenya to edge out the Ethiopian delegation. Kenya has not had an overall winner since Paul Tergat won the title in 1999.

After winning the Junior title in 2002, Gebremariam won the Senior Long Course bronze in 2003 and double silvers – both Long Course and Short Course – in 2004. Since 2005 his results have been mixed and last year he placed only 17th in the Long Course race.

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