Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Merga ends Kenyan dominance

Ethiopia's Imana Merga won the men's race at the World Cross-Country Championships in Spain to prevent almost total Kenyan domination.

Kenya's Vivian Cheruiyot won the women's race ahead of compatriot Linet Masai and their counterparts filled five of the top seven places in the men's event, but Merga lifted the title after a sprint finish in Punta Umbria.

Merga burst clear in the closing 200 metres of the 12-kilometre race to clock a time of 33 minutes and 50 seconds, just ahead of Kenyan duo Paul Tanui and Vincent Chepkok.

"Before I used to think of myself as a track runner but this winter I have got to like cross-country races more," a delighted Merga said.