Japhet Korir shocks field, wins World Cross Country; Emily Chebet takes women’s race

BYDGOSZCZ, Poland (Sporting Alert) — Japhet Kipyegon Korir of Kenya pulled away from his challengers on the final lap to win the IAAF World Cross Country Championships men’s race in Bydgoszcz, Poland on Sunday.

The 19-year-old, who finished 6th at the Kenyan trials, was not on the radar for a medal, but defeated the odds to strike gold in the Men’s Senior Race Final, finishing in a time of 32:45.

Defending champion Imane Merga of Ethiopia took the silver medal with a time of 32:51 after overcoming fitness and injury concerns, with Teklemariam Medhin of Eritrea claiming the bronze in 32:54.

Ben True led the Americans by finishing in 6th place in 33:11.

Ethiopia packed well to win the team overall title with 38 points, to beat USA which finished with 52pts, while Kenya, which had won 24 out of the last 26 team titles and led for a major part of the race in the team standings, were third with 54 points.

In the meantime, Emily Chebet timed her finishing kick to perfection to win the women’s race in 24:24.

The Kenyan beat Hiwot Ayalew of Ethiopia, who broke from the field late, but was unable to hold on when it matters and finished second in 24:27.

The bronze medal went to Belaynesh Oljira of Ethiopia in 24:33.

Kenya won the women’s team title with 19 points, beating Ethiopia (48), Bahrain (73) and USA (90).

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