Today’s Amora International Cross Country meeting, one of the European Athletics XC Permit races, took place today (29) and was dominated by Kenyan guest runners who took all but one of the six podium spots available across the two senior races.
In the men’s race, Kenyan runners forced the pace to the limits and very soon they were alone in the front, with Nicholas Korir making the decisive move to win by 10 seconds ahead of his countryman Keneth Kiplinu, who challenged hard throughout.
Edwin Kuambai, fifth in the Oeiras Cross Country last week, was third here, seven seconds ahead of the first Portuguese, Alberto Paulo, who was fourth in Torres Vedas Cross Country two weeks ago. In fifth came countryman Ricardo Ribas, who had been third in Torres Vedras. Both the Portuguese are already selected for the national team for the European Cross Country Championship in December.
In fact with the entire senior Portuguese men’s team line-up agreed before today, it was the selection of the national team for the Under 23 and Junior age groups that was in the focus. The best today of those youngsters was João Silva (6th).
In the women’s race, early in the race the foreign runners came to the front as they did in the men’s race and they made it their own race. Kenyan Milka Jerotivh, fourth in Oeiras last week, proved to be the strongest beating her countrywoman Elizabeth Rumokol, the sixth place finisher in the 2003 World Cross Country Championships, by eight seconds.
Russian Olga Golovkina, ninth in Oeiras, came in third, 24 seconds adrift of the victor!
Romanian Cristina Casandra, the former World 3000m Steeplechase record holder, finished in fourth, 12 seconds ahead of the first Portuguese, Sandra Teixeira, who produced a last lap surge that relegated Joana Costa, the first under-23 national athlete, to 6th place.
António Manuel Fernandes for the IAAF
1. Nicholas Korir KEN 24:36
2. Keneth Kiplinu KEN 24:46
3. Edwin Kuambai KEN 25:07
4. Alberto Paulo POR 25:14
5. Ricardo Ribas POR 25:44
6. João Silva POR 25:44 (Same time)
1. Milka Jerotich KEN 17:30
2. Elizabeth Rumokol KEN 17:38
3. Olga Golovkina RUS 17:54
4. Cristina Casandra ROM 18:04
5. Sandra Teixeira POR 18:16
6. Joana Costa POR 18:17