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Belfast International Cross Country update

BRISTOL athlete Kate Reed finished a fine fourth among a field full of established African internationals at the Belfast stage of the UK Cross Challenge, while Phil Nicholls (Tipton) made it into the top ten in the men’s race to place top Briton.

 

Reed is improving race by race throughout the winter, after her summer season was cut short due to injuries and on Boxing Day she broke her own British four mile road record at a race in Clevedon.

 

Using the Belfast race as preparation for the World Cross, Reed was pleased with her fourth-place finish, just one place behind Kenya’s Mary Wacera-Ngugi, the world junior 5000m bronze medallist.

 

Ethiopia’s Etalemahu Kidane was the convincing winner, striding home ahead of compatriot Teyiba Erkesso, winner of last month’s Lotto CrossCup in Brussels.

 

The men’s race was a much closer affair, as the four leading athletes – Moses Kipsiro, Fabiano Joseph, Patrick Musyoki and Ibrahim Jeylan – were bunched together for the majority of the race.

 

It was only on the last lap that Ethiopia’s 17-year-old world junior champion Jeylan was dropped from the leading three, leaving the more experienced seniors to battle it out.

 

Uganda’s Kipsiro emerged the victor, unleashing a lethal sprint finish in the final straight to out-kick former world half marathon champion Joseph of Tanzania and Kenya’s Musyoki.

Tipton harrier Nicholls was almost two minutes behind in tenth place, with two Irish men – Gary Murray and Mark Kinnealy – sneaking ahead of him.

 

European Cross Country representative Olivia Kenney was the leading Briton in the under-20 women’s race, which was held alongside the senior women’s event. The Sutton Coldfield athlete was the second junior to finish, behind Ireland’s Suzanne Huet.

 

Nuneaton’s Lee Carey made up for a disappointing run at Liverpool, where he missed out on making the team for the European Cross, by winning the under-20 men’s race in Belfast.

 

Matt Withey and Heather Timmins won their respective under-17 races, both with comfortable three-second victories, while John Bird and Sarah Barker enjoyed even bigger winning margins in the under-15 races. Amber Watson and Patrick Monaghan were the under-13 winners.

 

Results including age group and team races can be downloaded from the links below.

 

For a further report, results and pictures, see the January 11 issue of Athletics Weekly.