Paul Tergat at the 1999 IAAF World Cross Country Championships (Getty Images) © Copyright

Tergat beaten as newcomers star in Kenyan cross country trials

Peter Njenga for the IAAF

24 February 2001 – Nairobi - Five times world cross country champion Paul Tergat was beaten to third position in the men's 12km senior race of the Kenyan championships which were also the IAAF Permit Meeting Nairobi round today.

Typical of Kenyans trials, yet another crop of young talents notably, winner of the main feature race, John Korir who relegated international stars to lesser positions.

Korir, 20, held back but stayed within striking distance then produced a devastating acceleration at 2000m stage to a open a 150 metres gap which he held up to the end in this race watched by an estimated 10,000 spectators including IAAF President Lamine Diack.

Korir was winner of the 10,000 metres in last year's national trials and fifth in Sydney Olympics. He clocked 36:10, to push Paul Kosgei (36:29), a bronze medallist in the 4km race in last year's world cross country championships, to second place.

"I am so happy today to beat the giants," Korir said at the end. "This is my first major cross country title and from here I can only hope God will give me the same strength during the world championships."

Kosgei, second in the Nairobi championships last weekend, said he will settle for the 10,000m on the track. "I have been doing short races but since I recovered from injury. I have found longer races more suitable for me."

Tergat paid glowing tribute to the young charges. "I am leaving the cross country scene confident Kenya will continue to dominate," said Tergat who will be running his favourite distance for the last time in the world cross country championships before moving up to the marathon in London on 22 April.

"The weather was not good and affected me since I only arrived home on Thursday from Europe and also the competition was extremely stiff but I am not complaining," continued Tergat.

Charles Kamathi, winner of the IAAF Permit meet in Seville and controversially included in the world championships team last year, finished fourth followed by Richard Limo and Enock Mitei.

Another kid on the blocks was the winner of the 4km race. Enock Koech aged 20 celebrated his first major victory in style by beating the defending world champion John Kibowen and revered Sammy Kipketer.

Rose Cheruiyot, a runner-up in1996 world championships and 12th in the longer women's 8km race in last year's world championships, won the 4km by a massive 42 seconds ahead of Edith Masai.

The longest surviving Kenyan woman cross country runner, Lydia Cheromei, a world junior champion 10 years ago, was in remarkably sound form by overcoming a strong field of seasoned runners in the 4km race. The 2000 IAAF Cross Challenge champion clocked 27:44 followed by Susan Chepkemei (27:53) and Pamela Chepchumba (28:04).

Peter Njenga for the IAAF

National cross country team
12Km: John Korir, Paul kosgei, Paul Tergat, Charles Kamathi, Richard Limo, Enock Mitei, Joshua Chelang'a.
4km: Enock Koech, John Kibowen, Sammy Kipketer, Benjamin Limo, Albert Chepkurui, Cyrus Kataron, Stephen Rerimoi.
Junior men: Kiplimo Muneria, Nicholas Kemboi, Kipkorir Lebo, Edwin Koech, Wilson Chelal, Peter Chebet, Moses Kororia.

8km: Lydia Cheromei, Susan Chepkemei, Pamela Chepchumba, Pauline Chemeli, Irene Kwambai, Sally Barsosio, Hellen Kimaiyo.
4km: Rose Cheruiyot, Edith Masai, Salome Chepchumba, Nancy Wambui, Pamela Anisumuk, Naomi Mugo, Gladys Kwambai., Margaret Ngotho
Junior Women: Vivian Cheruiyot, Penninah Chepchumba, Alice Timbilil, Fridah Ywalareng, Sally Chebiego, Jelagat Kibiwot.

Results national cross country championships
12Km: 1. John Korir, 36:10; 2. Paul Kosgei, 36:29; 3. Paul Tergat, 36:38; 4. Charles Kamathi, 36:41; 5. Richard Limo, 36:46; 6. Enock Mitei, 36:48; 7. Joshua Chelang'a, 36:59; 8. Kimutai Kosgei, 37:01; 8. Paul Koech, 37:04; 10. Willy Cheruiyot, 38:11.

4km men: 1. Enock Koech, 11:43; 2. John Kibowen, 11:46; 3. Sammy Kipketer, 11:47; 4. Benjamin Limo, 11:51; 5. Albert Chepkurui, 11:52; 6. Cyrus Kataron, 11:55; 7. Stephen Rerimoi, 11:58; 8. Abraham Chebii, 12:00; 9. James Koskei, 12:01; 10. Fredrick Cheruiyot, 12:02.

8km junior men: 1. Kiplimo Muneria, 24:23; 2. Nicholas Kemboi, 24:26; 3. Kipkorir Lebo, 24:29; 4. Edwin Koech, 24:32; 5. Wilson Chelal, 24:32; 6. Peter Chebet, 24:33; 7. Moses Kororia, 24:40; 8. Barnabas Kiplagat, 24:45; 9. Julius Kibet, 24:46; 10. Solomon Busiendich, 24:48.

8km women: 1. Lydia Cheromei, 27:44; 2. Susan Chepkemei, 27:53; 3. Pamela Chepchumba, 28:04; 4. Pauline Chemeli, 28:06; 5. Irene Kwambai, 28:08; 6. Sally Barsosio, 28:18; 7. Hellen Kimaiyo, 28:22; 8. Margaret Okayo, 28:26; 9. Catherine Ndereva, 28:33; 10. Monica Otwori, 28:43.

4km Senior women: 1. Rose Cheruiyot, 13:42; 2. Edith Masai, 14:00; 3. Salome Chepchumba, 14:05; 4. Nancy Wambui, 14:10; 5. Pamela Anisumuk, 14:11; 6. Naomi Mugo, 14:17; 7. Gladys Kwambai, 14:20; 8. Charity Kiprono, 14:20; 9. Irene Limika, 14:27; 10. Grace Chesergon, 14:30

6km junior Women: 1. Vivian Cheruiyot, 20:40; 2. Penninah Chepchumba, 20:41; 3. Alice Timbilil, 20:42; 4. Fridah Ywalareng, 20:44; 5. Selly Chebiego,20:48; 6. Sally Kibiego, 20:55; 7. Jelagat Kibiwot, 20:59; 8. Pamela Kipchoge, 21:00; 9. Emma Onchiri, 21:15; 10. Beatrice Chechumba, 21:16.