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Tadesse continues Ethiopian parade - Junior men's race

Meba Tadesse (ETH) wins the junior men's race (Getty Images)Meba Tadesse (ETH) wins the junior men's race (Getty Images) © Copyright

The Ethiopian success story from day one continued as Meba Tadesse gave them a winning start to day two at the 32nd IAAF World Cross Championships.

His late burst to seal victory meant Uganda’s Boniface Kiprop had to settle for a minor medal for the third year in a row, having started the race as favourite.

Twelve months ago in Lausanne, Kiprop was second and Tadesse seventh, but as the pair approached the finishing straight it was the Ethiopian who surged ahead to win by two seconds.

Kenya, reeling from a hugely disappointing first day, were anxious to make amends as the second day’s action got underway and Ernest Meli Kimeli was soon at the front. Approaching 1km (2:57), Kiprop moved to the front and he was prominent as a pack of seven – including three Kenyans and three Ethiopians – completed the opening lap of four in 5:51.

Kiprop, third in 2002 and second in ’03, continued to force the pace but Kimeli again hit the front as the field headed towards 3km (9:02). With Ethiopian spirits still high from the previous day, East African junior cross country champion Wodimu Mulugeta surged to the front towards the end of the second lap but Kiprop soon responded and was followed by Barnabas Kosgei.

By halfway (11:53) the leading group was already down to five – Kiprop taking on a pair of Kenyan and a couple of Ethiopians as he led Uganda’s bid for a fifth successive team medal.

With the leading quintet closely bunched, the tight muddy bends of the Parc de Laeken course almost saw them tripping over each other and with the case for medals hotting up Kimeli was struggling to stay with the pacesetters.

Kiprop was always the aggressor as he continually tried to force the pace but Kosgei – 10th last year when he became the first primary schoolboy to represent Kenya at this event – was following his every move and Tadesse was just behind.

Around 5km (15:03) it became a two-horse race as Kiprop and Tadesse went clear of the Kenyan challengers, and as the bell was reached in 17:57 the two leaders nudged each other with Tadesse giving Kiprop a slight push to give himself more room.

Kimeli and Kosgei were side-by-side in the chase for the remaining medal but more importantly they were leading Kenya’s bid to win the team title for the sixth year in a row and 16th time in 17 years.

Tadesse edged in front during the final lap but Kiprop worked his way back and from then to the finish it was a keenly-fought battle between the pair. Tadesse went ahead again but Kiprop made yet another move just after 7km (21:05) and neither would accept defeat as the finish edged nearer.

But as the pair approached the finishing straight Tadesse found another gear to kick ahead and his two seconds victory gave Ethiopia their third gold in four races in the championships so far. He said: “With 200 metres to go I knew I was going to win because Kiprop was breathing hard. I believed I would be in contention in this race but could not be sure I would win, but I hope this gold medal will be the start of a successful athletics career.”

Kiprop, in his fourth World Junior Cross Country Championships (he was 27th on his debut in 2000) was disappointed with second as he expected to win, but he found the cold conditions difficult to cope with.

Kimeli took third, amazingly Kenya’s first individual medal of the championships so far. With four in the first seven they finally secured their first team title of the weekend.
THE Ethiopian success story from day one continued as Meba Tadesse gave them a winning start to day two.

His late burst to seal victory meant Uganda’s Boniface Kiprop had to settle for a minor medal for the third year in a row, having started the race as favourite.

Twelve months ago in Lausanne, Kiprop was second and Tadesse seventh, but as the pair approached the finishing straight it was the Ethiopian who surged ahead to win by two seconds.

Kenya, reeling from a hugely disappointing first day, were anxious to make amends as the second day’s action got underway and Ernest Meli Kimeli was soon at the front. Approaching 1km (2:57), Kiprop moved to the front and he was prominent as a pack of seven – including three Kenyans and three Ethiopians – completed the opening lap of four in 5:51.

Kiprop, third in 2002 and second in ’03, continued to force the pace but Kimeli again hit the front as the field headed towards 3km (9:02). With Ethiopian spirits still high from the previous day, East African junior cross country champion Wodimu Mulugeta surged to the front towards the end of the second lap but Kiprop soon responded and was followed by Barnabas Kosgei.

By halfway (11:53) the leading group was already down to five – Kiprop taking on a pair of Kenyan and a couple of Ethiopians as he led Uganda’s bid for a fifth successive team medal.

With the leading quintet closely bunched, the tight muddy bends of the Parc de Laeken course almost saw them tripping over each other and with the case for medals hotting up Kimeli was struggling to stay with the pacesetters.

Kiprop was always the aggressor as he continually tried to force the pace but Kosgei – 10th last year when he became the first primary schoolboy to represent Kenya at this event – was following his every move and Tadesse was just behind.

Around 5km (15:03) it became a two-horse race as Kiprop and Tadesse went clear of the Kenyan challengers, and as the bell was reached in 17:57 the two leaders nudged each other with Tadesse giving Kiprop a slight push to give himself more room.

Kimeli and Kosgei were side-by-side in the chase for the remaining medal but more importantly they were leading Kenya’s bid to win the team title for the sixth year in a row and 16th time in 17 years.

Tadesse edged in front during the final lap but Kiprop worked his way back and from then to the finish it was a keenly-fought battle between the pair. Tadesse went ahead again but Kiprop made yet another move just after 7km (21:05) and neither would accept defeat as the finish edged nearer.

But as the pair approached the finishing straight Tadesse found another gear to kick ahead and his two seconds victory gave Ethiopia their third gold in four races in the championships so far. He said: “With 200 metres to go I knew I was going to win because Kiprop was breathing hard. I believed I would be in contention in this race but could not be sure I would win, but I hope this gold medal will be the start of a successful athletics career.”

Kiprop, in his fourth World Junior Cross Country Championships (he was 27th on his debut in 2000) was disappointed with second as he expected to win, but he found the cold conditions difficult to cope with.

Kimeli took third, amazingly Kenya’s first individual medal of the championships so far. With four in the first seven they finally secured their first team title of the weekend.