Obiri repeats over Chepng’etich to smash Campaccio record
Olympics silver medallist Hellen Obiri once again repeated over Rio 2016 teammate and champion Faith Chepng’etich Kipyegon en route to smashing the women’s course record during the 60th edition of Campaccio- an IAAF Cross Country Permit meeting- in Italy.
Commonwealth steeplechase silver medallist, Jairus Birech was beaten to third in the corresponding men’s race where Ethiopian pair Muktar Edris and Imane Merga clinched the 1-2 where Olympics champion Conseslus Kipruto was pushed down the finishing order.
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After beating Chepng’etich at the AK Meeting in Machakos just before the turn of the year, Obiri repeated over the two-time World Cross junior champion in Italy, completing the course in 18:32 to obliterate the course record set by African champion Alice Aprot last year by 24 seconds.
“It was a very good race, but it was very windy. It’s a good race compared to cross-country courses we have in Kenya,” Obiri told the IAAF adding she was considering running some indoor races over the course of winter.
Chepng’etich came home four seconds in arrears with World Cross champion, Agnes Tirop (18:56) rounding the podium for a Kenyan sweep.
Initially, the race was tightly contested race between Kenyans and their arch rivals the Ethiopians with Obiri, Chepng’etich and Tirop leading Beijing 2015 Worlds 10,000m silver medallist Gelete Burka, Etenesh Diro and Enatinesh Alamirew in the early stages covering the first two kilometres in 6:35.
Obiri and Kipyegon then started to push the pace. After covering the third kilometre in 2:55, they had a three-second lead over Tirop and the rest of their pursuers.
They ran together for another kilometre before Obiri finally managed to break away from Kipyegon with little more than one kilometre left, going through the 5km checkpoint in 15:28 and widening her lead to seal victory with Chepng’etich arriving home well inside the previous course standard.
Birech was forced to accept the last podium place by the fleet-footed Ethiopians in a race that also featured Rio steeplechase winner, Kipruto who finished fifth in the junior race at the 2013 World Cross in Bydgoszcz, Poland on his first international outing of the year.
An eight-man group formed by Edris, Merga, Birech, Olivier Irabaruta, Kipruto, former World Cross bronze winner and 10K record holder Leonard Patrick Komon, Abraham Cheroben and Yeman Crippa took the lead in the early stages, going through 2km in 5:55 and 3km in 8:52.
Six men were still in the lead at 8km when Cheroben took the initiative ahead of Edris, Irabaruta, Birech, Merga and Kipruto, but his lead did not last long as Edris broke away with one kilometre remaining.
Only Merga and Birech were able to stay near Edris during the final sprint. The trio battled it out until Edris pulled away from defending champion Merga in the final straight to take a close race by one second, 28:54 to 28:55 as the Kenyan stopped the timer at 28:59.
Kenyan-born Bahraini Cheroben (29:06) finished just outside the podium with Kipruto (29:20) and Komon (29:40) following each other in sixth and seventh.
-Report compiled from the IAAF (iaaf.org)
1 Muktar Edris (ETH) 28:54
2 Imane Merga (ETH) 28:55
3 Jairus Birech (KEN) 28:59
4 Abraham Cheroben (BRN) 29:06
5 Olivier Irabaruta (BDI) 29:08
6 Conseslus Kipruto (KEN) 29:20
7 Leonard Patrick Komon (KEN) 29:40
8 Yeman Crippa (ITA) 29:48
9 Faniel Gebrehiwet (ITA) 29:49
10 Yohanes Chiappinelli (ITA) 30:09
1 Hellen Obiri (KEN) 18:32
2 Faith Kipyegon (KEN) 18:36
3 Agnes Tirop (KEN) 18:56
4 Gelete Burka (ETH) 19:01
5 Enatnesh Alamirew (ETH) 19:13
6 Etenesh Diro (ETH) 20:11
7 Sara Dossena (ITA) 20:33
8 Valeria Roffino (ITA) 20.40
9 Giulia Viola (ITA) 20:41
10 Sara Brogiato (ITA) 20:51