Gidey, a pre-race favorite, was set on retaining her World title. And she did.
(Credit: Miriam Namutebi)
EVENT: 2017 IAAF World Cross Country Championships
HOST: Kampala, UGANDA
VENUE: Kololo Independence Grounds
KAMPALA – Letesenbet Gidey of Ethiopia succesfully defended her U20 women’s title in Kampala with a gold-winning time of 18.34 minutes.
The racers had three laps of the Kololo course to do, which is about six kilometres.
Gidey, set on retaining her World title and a pre-race favorite, started strong in the lead pack.
And perhaps on the back of her mind were fond memories of Ethiopia’s dominant show in the last championships in Guyang (China) where they enjoyed a clean sweep of the medals in this particular race.
But with a host of Kenyans in the lead pack, it was never going to be easy for the Ethiopians. By the end of lap one, there were six Kenyans and four Ethiopians in the lead pack.
But as the race progressed, Hellen Lobun and Celliphine Chespol of Kenya peeled away from the rest. But not without Gidey.
Eventually, it turned into a three-strong race at the front, with the Kenyans finding difficulty peeling away further from the title-holder.
The Ethiopian crowd rose to its feet as Gidey made for the finish line to defend her title convincingly.