FUTURE HOPEFULS DATHAN RITZENHEIM (#534) AND MATT
TEGENKAMP MADE A GOOD SHOWING IN THE MEN'S JUNIOR RACE.
CLAY SHAW PHOTO
Some Surprises at World Cross-Country Championships

BY CLAY SHAW

OSTEND, BELGIUM -- My predictions came true on Saturday, March 24, 2001. Paula Radcliffe ran aggressively and powered to victory in the women's cross-country long race. Radcliffe outkicked Ethiopian Gete Wami in the final stretch to win by three seconds. My predictions weren't so good for Sunday, when Sonia O'Sullivan dropped out of the 4K race.

Gete Wami, who was second in the long race on Saturday, came back on Sunday to win the 4K by one-second over Paula Radcliffe who also doubled. Other predictions included Derartu Tulu, who at a late date bypassed the event for the London Marathon. Deena Drossin led the USA women in the long race by finishing 12th, 1:39 in back of Radcliffe.

Mohammed Mourhit, now a citizen of Belgium, thrilled the partisan crowd at the Wellington Hippodrome by powering away from the pack of six in the final lap to win by a one-second margin. Sergey Lebid, of Ukraine, came from behind to take second place, two seconds ahead of Charles Kamanthi, of Kenya.

With three races each day there was a lot of excitement and great stories. Having the event at all was due to hard work by some dedicated people who, due to hoof-and-mouth disease, had to move the event from Dublin, Ireland, to Brussels, Belgium, then to Ostend, Belgium, on the North Sea, in a matter of less than three weeks. Two weeks of foul weather turned the grassy surface of the Wellington Hippodrome into a muddy quagmire. What else could go wrong? The Belgium trains were on strike on Friday, the day before the event.

 

TEAM USA, THIRD PLACE FINISHERS IN THE TEAM
LONG COMPETITION (FROM LEFT): ABDIABDIRAHMAN,
MEB KEFLEZIGHI, AND BOB KENNEDY.
CLAY SHAW PHOTO
The USA men had solid efforts, finishing third in the final race of the meet. It was the first team medal since 1986. Bob Kennedy was 12th, Meb Keflezighi was 13th, Abdi Abdirahman was 15th, and Nick Rogers was 47th. In the men's short race, the USA men placed 4th, with solid efforts from Brad Hauser (15th), Tim Broe (18th), Andrew Downin (19th), and Anthony Cosey (39th). Mohammed Amyn, of Morocco, was 16th. Amyn won the 2000 York White Rose Run. In the men's junior race, Dathan Ritzenheim, of Michigan, finished third, becoming the first junior medallist since Keith Brantly in 1981. Matt Tegenkamp, who worked with Ritzenheim through much of the race, was 5th and Josh Spiker was 24th.

Despite thick morning fog on Saturday, and a raw, very cold, windy day on Sunday and a muddy race course, things went well. There were great performances by the athletes and a stellar performance by the organizers, which made the IAAF World Championships a class act.

 

JUNIOR TEAM USA FROM LEFT: VICTORIA CHANG,
MICHELLE DE LA VINA, ALICIA CRAIG, EMILY BLAKESLEE,
LAURA ZEIGLE, AND ALISHA WILLIAMS.
CLAY SHAW PHOTO
SCHEDULE

Saturday

Junior Women (19 and Under)
Senior Men's Short
Senior Women's Long

Sunday

Junior Men (19 and Under)
Senior Women's Short Race (4K)
Senior Men's Long

MALE

Senior Long

1. Mohammed Mourhit 39:53
2. Sergey Lebed 40:03
3. Charles Kamathi 40:05

Senior Short

1. Enoch Koech 12:40
2. Kenenisa Bekile 12:42
3. Benjamin Limo 12:43

Junior

1. Kenenisa Bekile 25:04
2. Duncan Lebo 25:37
3. Dathan Ritzenheim 25:46

Team

Senior Long

1. Kenya 33 pts.
2. France 72
3. USA 87

Senior Short

1. Kenya 13
2. Morocco 48
3. Ethiopia 51

Junior

1. Kenya 13
2. Ethiopia 25
3. Uganda 89

USA Hopes for the Future: Ritzenheim (3rd) and Tegenkamp (5th) had solid runs in the junior men's race.

USA Team: 3rd in the long race. Bob Kennedy (12th), Meb Keflezighi (13th), and Abdi Abdirahman (15th).

 

TOMOMI TAGAO (#834) TAKES AN EARLY LEAD ON AN UPHILL
PORTION OF THE JUNIOR WOMEN'S EVENT. TAGAO WOULD
EVENTUALLY FINISH 13TH WITH TEAM JAPAN PLACING THIRD.
PATTI STIRK PHOTO
FEMALE

Senior Long

1. Paula Radcliffe 27:49
2. Gete Wami 27:52
3. Lydia Cheromei 28:07

Senior Short

1. Gete Wami 14:46
2. Paula Radcliffe 14:47
3. Edith Masai 14:57

Junior

1. Viola Kibiwot 22:05
2. Abebech Negussie 22:05
3. Aster Bach 22:05

Team

Senior Long

1. Kenya 18 pts.
2. Ethiopia 70
3. France 77

Senior Short

1. Ethiopia 26
2. Kenya 32
3. Romania 78

Junior

1. Ethiopia 16
2. Kenya 20
3. Japan 59