By Clay Shaw and Karen Mitchell
Bathurst, Australia, February 18, 2023, World Athletics World Cross Country Championships—Three men with big resumes were in serious contention for the senior men’s race (10K) title. Jacob Kiplimo of Uganda had won the junior race in 2017 in his home country of Uganda. In 2019 he finished second in the senior race in Aarhus, Denmark. To win in 2023 he would need to beat defending champ Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda and two-time champ Geoffrey Kamworor of Kenya. Kamworor had won in Guiyang, China 2015 and in Kampala, Uganda 2017. They all had to beat an impending storm.
This summer storm was approaching fast. Race officials, with some quick thinking, started the senior women five minutes early and then the senior men twenty minutes early. The wind began to blow violently, the skies darkened and spectators were asked to leave and take shelter. The athletes kept running and were hustled to their pits upon finishing. Awards were moved to an inside location at nearby Charles Sturt University. As it turned out, lightning and rain did happen, and the sudden schedule change was smart.
This was our first World XC south of the equator, although Kampala was close. It’s currently summer in Australia with bright, harsh sun, and the temps were higher than usual for race day. The races started at 3:30 pm, unusual for the sport. We asked why 3:30, but didn’t really get an answer, although some people guessed that it was related to TV coverage. This answer wouldn’t apply to the US. With the 3:30 pm Saturday start time in Bathurst, in the Eastern Time Zone the event was 11:30 pm Friday – 3:00 am Saturday morning, not exactly prime time in the US.
The results: Jacob Kiplimo of Uganda won the men’s senior race (10K) in 29:17. Joshua Cheptegei finished third in 29:37. Kamworir finished fourth this year in 29:37. Who was second? Ethiopian speedster Berihu Aregawi was second in 29:26. Kibiwott Kandie was fifth and the final man under 30 minutes, in 29:57.
Kenya, Ethiopia, and Uganda were the podium teams (no big surprise). Australia had a solid group and finished fourth. South Africa was fifth, the USA was sixth, Spain was seventh, Tanzania was eighth, New Zealand was ninth. Canada was tenth. New to XC was Papua New Guinea, who placed 13th in the team groupings.
- 29:17 Jacob Kiplimo, Uganda
- 29:26 Berihu Aregawi, Ethiopia
- 29:37 Joshua Cheptegei, Uganda
- 29:37 Geoffrey Kamworor, Kenya
- 29:57 Kibiwott Kandie, Kenya
- 30:01 Daniel Ebenyo, Kenya
- 30:04 Sabastian Sawe, Kenya
- 30:06 Rodrigue Kwizera, Burundi
- 30:10 Hailemariyam Amare, Ethiopia
- 30:11 Mogos Tuemay, Ethiopia
- 30:13 Chimdessa Debele, Ethiopia
- 30:16 Selemon Barega, Ethiopia
- 30:32 Nicholas Kipkorir, Kenya
- 30:39 Getaneh Molla, Ethiopia
- 30:40 Rogers Kibet, Uganda
- 30:44 Precious Mashelle, South Africa
- 30:53 Habtom Samuel, Eritrea
- 30:56 Martin Kiprotich, Uganda
- 30:57 Emmanuel Kipruto, Kenya
- 30:57 Celestin Ndikumana, Burundi
- 31:04 Samuel Chelanga, United States
- 31:08 Aaron Las Heras, Spain
- 31:11 Ky Robinson, Australia
- 31:12 Isaac Kibet, Uganda
- 31:12 Samsom Amare, Eritrea
- 31:14 Santiago Catrofe, Uruguay
- 31:18 Maxime Chaumeton, South Africa
- 31:24 Josephat Gisemo, Tanzania
- 31:30 Jack Rayner, Australia
- 31:34 Samuel Kibet, Uganda
Categories: Race Coverage
Thanks for the great coverage! It was a wild one out there!
Great article Karen and Clay.