Kenyans beaten by Ethiopians in Campaccio Cross Country

Kenyans finished second and third in the men's and women's races respectively.

Africa under 18 3,000m champion Emmanuel Korir Kiplagat (left) and World u20 steeplechase champion Amos Serem (right) finished 2nd and 3rd behind Ethiopian Addisu Yihune (centre) at the eighth Gold level meeting of this season’s World Athletics Cross Country Tour, on Thursday, January 6.

Africa under 18 3,000m champion Emmanuel Korir Kiplagat and former world Under-20 5000m champion Beatrice Chebet finished second and third respectively in the men and women races at Campaccio leg of the World Athletics Cross Country Tour.

Ethiopia both dominated the men's and women's races held in San Giorgio su Legnano, Italy.

In the women’s race, Eritrea’s Rahel Daniel Ghebreyohannes took the early lead ahead of a seven other ladies that comprised of Kenyan duo Beatrice Chebet and Lucy Mawia among others. The leading pack went through the 2km mark in 6:38.

The Seven runners remained at the front as the pace picked up at 4km. Ethiopia's Dawit Seyaum then changed gear, clocking a split of 2:49 between 4km and 5km. The leading pack was whittled down to five runners at 5km.

Seyaum, Chebet and Ghebreyohannes broke away with 500 metres to go and battled it out for the win.

Seyaum unleashed her final kick to cross the finish line in 18:48, holding off Atapuerca cross country winner Ghebreyohannes by just one second in a close sprint.

Chebet was beaten for the second time in this cross country season by Ghebreyohannes and had to settle for third place in 18:51.

Men

The men’s race saw a big group featuring Kenyan trio Vincent Kipkurui Too, Emmanuel Korir Kiplagat and Amos Serem, together with Ethiopia’s Yihune, Eritrea’s Aron Kifle go through 3km in 8:43.

Too set the pace at the front of an eight-man group, closely followed by Serem, Kiplagat, Kifle, Yihune and Italian Eyob Ghebrehiwet Faniel during the third lap. They went through 4km in 11:46 and 5km in 14:30.

Kiplagat then moved to the front ahead of six other runners: Serem, Kifle, Faniel, Too, Yihune and Italian Yohanes Chiappinelli.

The first significant move came at 8km when Yihune, Kiplagat, Too, Serem and Kifle picked up the pace and pulled away from Faniel by two seconds.

Yihune pushed on at the front and increased his lead during the last lap, going on to cross the finish line in 28:39 with a six-second gap over Kiplagat.

Serem, who won the world U20 gold medal in the 3000m steeplechase in Nairobi last August, won a very close sprint for third place in 28:53, holding off Too.

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