Sabrina Mockenhaupt defended her German Cross Country title in Ohdruf, Thuringia, during the past weekend. She took the 4.9km event in a time of 15:59 minutes after a short battle with Susanne Hahn, who came in second in 16:10. Julia Viellehner was third with 16:15, while European marathon champion Ulrike Maisch followed in fifth (16:50).
Sabrina Mockenhaupt will now concentrate on the 10,000 m qualifying time for the Olympic Games. She will have to run 31:40 minutes or faster to get a ticket to Beijing.
Going to Flagstaff (USA) for high altitude training she then plans to run the distance at the American Stanford meeting. Susanne Hahn has different plans. She will be the only starter of the Deutscher Leichtathletik-Verband (DLV) at the 36th IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Edinburgh on 30 March.
Hahn has been a regular competitor at these championships with notable placings. Her best one is from 2005, when she was 22nd in the long distance event.
After Edinburgh she intends to run the Mainz Marathon aiming for the Olympic qualifying time of 2:31. But to get one of tickets to Beijing she will have to run below 2:30 which looks a very difficult task – especially in a race like Mainz.
The men’s 9.9km event was won by defending champion Stephan Hohl. He clocked 29:41 minutes while Sebastian Hallmann was second in 29:59. Falk Cierpinski was third with 30:09. The son of the double Olympic marathon champion Waldemar Cierpinski aims for a Beijing ticket as well. He will have to improve to at least 2:13:00.
Jörg Wenig for the IAAF