Masai and Merga strike gold in Spain

Linet Masai stormed to victory in the Atapuerca Cross country in Bilbao, Spain with Ethiopia´s Imane Merga clinching the mens title.

Masai (left) struck at around the halfway point (approx at 3.9km) and powered home 42 seconds ahead of her nearest rival, Ethiopia´s Belayne Oljira who overtook 3rd place finisher Priscah Jeptoo over the final kilometre. Genzebe Dibaba, the younger sister of Tirunesh, came home in 5th behind her Ethiopian counterpart Ayalew Hiwot.  Masai said she was very pleased with the win a felt strong throughout.

The mens race was much closer to call. A lead pack consisiting of Merga (below), Kidane Tadese, Mesfin Alemu, Vincent Chepkok and Mark Kiptoo dominated the race from start to finish and only 8 seconds seperated them in the end. Merga unleashed his trademark fast finish to strike gold ahead of Tadese, with Alemu out-kicking the 2 Kenyans to take bronze.

Men (9807m)
1. Imane Merga (Ethiopia) 27:21
2. Kidane Tadese (Eritrea) 27:22
3. Humegnaw Mesfin (Ethiopia) 27:24
4. Vincent Chepkok (Kenya) 27:25
5. Mike Kiptoo (Kenya) 27:29
6. Tariku Bekele (Ethiopia) 28:01
7. Ayad Lamdassem (Spain) 28:18
8. Adhanom Abdallah (Eritrea) 28:19
9.  Kiflom Sium (Eritrea) 28:37
10. Carlos Castillejo (Spain) 28:45
Women (7839m)
1. Linet Masai (Kenya) 24:20
2. Belaynesh Oljira (Ethiopia) 24:42
3. Priscah Jeptoo (Kenya) 24:52
4. Ayalew Hiwot (Ethiopia) 25:09
5. Genzebe Dibaba (Ethiopia) 25:23
6. Fiounnala Britton (Ireland) 25:32
7. Rebecca Cheptege (Uganda) 26:08
8. Hanna Walker (United Kingdom) 26:20
9. Marta Tigabea (Ethiopia) 26:33
10. Analia Rosa (Portugal) 26:42
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