African athletes dominated the IAAF World Cross-Country Championships in Jordan, with the first 25 men home all from the continent. Spain’s Carles Castillego was the first non-African to finish the men’s 12km race, some 1min 28sec behind the winner, Gebre-eqiabher Gebremariam, of Ethiopia.
Moses Ndlema Kipsiro was second, and Eritrea’s Zersenay Tadese third. There were just four seconds separating the first five athletes, with Gebremariam sprionting home in 35min 02sec. South Africas’ challenge, admittedly the wrong word, was led by Stephen Morake, who clocked 36:47, to finish 32nd overall. Moorosi Soke (37:05) was 41st, and fellow South Africans Jeffrey Gwebu (37:21) and Tshamano Setone (37:27) 50th and 51st, respectively. South Africa finished ninth in the men’s team event. The 8km women’s race told a similar story for South Africa, who placed 10th overall in the team competition. Kenya filled three of the first four positions with Florence Kiplagat winning in 26:13. The first South African to cross the line was Lebogang Phalula, two min 10sec off the pace in 28:23, in 29th position. Deno Lebo Phalula was 39th in 28:46 and Johanna van Schalkwyk 56th in 29:07. Among the juniors, Maxine Heine-Wacker placed 38th, some 2:10 off the winner in the women’s race and Mfumaneko Fadane (47th) was the leading South African junior male across the line in 25:51, some 2:25 off the winner, Ayele Abshero of Ethiopia.