Japan was the outstanding team at the 18th World University Cross Country Championships in Lodz on Saturday (14) winning both the male and female team titles, in addition to the silver and bronze medals won in the individual male competition.
The women’s race was contested by 61 competitors from 16 countries and was led from the gun by the eventual winner, Ancuta Bobocel (Romania) who completed the 3-lap course in 15:48. The silver medal was taken by Carla Salomé Rocha (Portugal) in 15:54, and third was secured by Roxana Birca (Romania) two seconds later.
The women’s team competition was won by Japan (21) who beat Romania (23) to the gold medal by 2 points! The winning team was composed of Mutsumi Ikeda, Ayuko Suzuki, Toshika Tamura, Ayame Takaki and Azusa Kurusu. The bronze medal went to Poland (46), with 13 teams finishing.
The 5-laps of the men’s race followed, with 76 athletes from 22 countries starting. The gold medal went to Abdelmajed Touil (Algeria) who clocked a winning time of 29:11. Silver and bronze went to Yuta Shitara and Daichi Motomura (Japan) with 29:15 and 29:22 respectively.
The men’s team title was won by Japan (36 points), followed by Ukraine (57) and Algeria (61). The winning team was composed of Yuta Shitara, Daichi Motomura, Kazuhiro Kuga, Hiroshi Ichida and Masaya Taguchi. Overall, 11 teams finished.
Overall, 60 female and 70 male runners from 23 countries competed in this 18th edition of the WUC Cross Country.
Christian Pierre (FISU) for the IAAF
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