A new event in China is the national cross country championships. This year most of the best runners took part in the two-day championships held in Qingzhen 10-11 March.
Sub-2:20 marathon runner Zhou Chunxiu was the surprise winner of the short race (4 km) in 13:11, edging all milers and distance runners in the process. In the long race (8 km) another marathon runner, Zhu Xiaolin, took the title in 27:06, just a second ahead of Zhou who took second this time around, while Zhu was third in the short race.
In the junior races 17-year-old 2006 5000m World junior champion Xue Fei grabbed a double winning both the 4 km and 6 km races. 18-year-old Zheng Wenrong, a 2:33:29 marathon runner last year, was exactly one second behind Xue in both races taking two runner-up spots.
In the men’s races a pair of unknown athletes took the wins. 20-year-old Dong Guojian won the 6 km; his best accomplishment before this was a third place at the 2006 national junior Championships 10,000m. The long race was won by 19-year-old Yang Dinghong, who has a 14:10.85 personal best in the 5000m from last season.
Mirko Jalava for the IAAF