Saturday, March 22, 2014

World University Cross Country Championships Results - Japan Takes Team Silver and Bronze

by Brett Larner

A local Ugandan newspaper as tweeted by WUCCC organizers FISU.

Hosts Uganda dominated the 19th edition of the World University Cross Country Championships Mar. 22 in Entebbe, winning both individual gold medals and the women's team gold.  The women's race, four laps of a roughly 1.5 km loop, went out as a race between Uganda and neighboring Kenya, with Kenya's Sheila Kandie leading Uganda's Winnie Nanyondo and Dorcus Ajok through the first lap before Nanyondo moved to the front.  Uganda's third woman, Prim Twikiriza, sat a few seconds back in the chase back with Japan's Ayumi Uehara, Fuyuka Kimura and Natsumi Ozawa.

On the third lap Nanyondo surged, covering it in 4:56.24, to drop both Kandie and Ajok, and from there she ran alone all the way to the finish to claim gold by a margin of nearly 30 seconds.  Ajok also got clear of Kandie on the third lap for silver, but on the fourth lap she was nearly run down by Twikiriza who surged hard to shake off her Japanese competition and was rewarded with bronze just five seconds back from Ajok, making it an Ugandan sweep of the podium.  Uehara, Kimura and Ozawa all ran Kenyan Kandie down on the bell lap to finish 4th through 6th and give Japan the team silver medal, with Canada's Julie-Anne Staehli also catching Kandie to lead Canada to the team bronze.

The seven-lap men's race also went out as a duel between Uganda and Kenya, with the top nine runners at the end of the first lap all hailing from those two countries.  By the end of the second lap the front group was down to Uganda's Joshua Cheptegei and Martin Chemtengin and Kenya's Daniel Muindi and Mark Lokwanamoi, with South African Alfred Mokopane and Japan's Shota Baba, of 2013 National University Ekiden champion Komazawa University, moving up to join the chase pack. A big move from Cheptegei on the third lap dropped all but Muindi, and from there the pair ran side-by-side for three laps.  On the sixth lap Cheptegei attacked again and got a gap on Muindi that proved permanent, Cheptegei claiming gold by six seconds over his Kenyan rival.

Chemtengin faded badly after the third lap, dropping to 8th by race's end.  After losing contact with Cheptegei and Muindi, Kenyan Lokwanamoi ran alone steadily in 3rd, but despite his teammate Calvin Chemoiywo's efforts to catch him Lokwanamoi was never in danger of losing the bronze.  Chemoiywo was next across the line to seal up the team gold for Kenya and disrupt Uganda's perfect sweep, the hosts consigned to team silver. Baba came up just short of catching Kenya's fourth man Joseph Kariuki but took a decent 6th, the first athlete from another country to cross the line and spearheading the Japanese men's team bronze medal.

Just behind him, Canada's Tristan Woodfine ran a very canny race, running each lap after the third progressively faster and closing with the third-fastest final lap in the field behind only top two Cheptegei and Muindi.   Woodfine ran down Uganda's second and third men Chemtengin and Julius Ochieng for 7th less than four seconds behind Baba after having been as far as 35 seconds back, but the rest of the Canadian men were unable to match him as the team failed to make the top five.

19th World University Cross Country Championships
Entebbe, Uganda, 3/22/14
click here for complete results

Women - Individual Results
1. Winnie Nanyondo (Uganda) - 20:33.77
2. Dorcus Ajok (Uganda) - 21:01.85
3. Prim Twikiriza (Uganda) - 21:06.14
4. Ayumi Uehara (Japan/Matsuyama Univ.) - 21:16.97
5. Fuyuka Kimura (Japan/Daito Bunka Univ.) - 21:22.31
6. Natsumi Ozawa (Japan/Hakuoh Univ.) - 21:30.63
7. Julie-Anne Staehli (Canada) - 21:31.34
8. Sheila Kandie (Kenya) - 21:39.15
9. Thembi Lucia Baloyi (South Africa) - 21:43.40
10. Anne Chebet (Uganda) - 21:43.50
-----
16. Maya Iino (Japan/Tokyo Nogyo Univ.) - 22:16.52

Women - Team Results
1. Uganda - 6
2. Japan - 15
3. Canada - 38
4. South Africa - 48
5. Italy - 51

Men - Individual Results
1. Joshua Cheptegei (Uganda) - 31:06.71
2. Daniel Muindi (Kenya) - 31:12.79
3. Mark Lokwanamoi (Kenya) - 32:33.26
4. Calvin Chemoiywo (Kenya) - 32:39.92
5. Joseph Kariuki (Kenya) - 32:51.36
6. Shota Baba (Japan/Komazawa Univ.) - 32:55.88
7. Tristan Woodfine (Canada) - 32:59.25
8. Martin Chemtengin (Uganda) - 33:00.09
9. Julius Ochieng (Uganda) - 33:12.93
10. Alex Baldaccini (Italy) - 33:16.55
-----
12. Masaya Kakihara (Japan/Kanagawa University) - 33:22.03
13. Mitsunori Asaoka (Japan/Tokyo Nogyo University) - 33:24.53
16. Hiroshi Ichida (Japan/Daito Bunka University) - 33:47.93

Men - Team Results
1. Kenya - 14
2. Uganda - 29
3. Japan - 47
4. South Africa - 74
5. Italy - 88

(c) 2014 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

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