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Juniors pick bronze

By Vision Reporter

Added 30th March 2008 03:00 AM

BENJAMIN Kiplagat, 19, helped Uganda reclaim a team podium finish after finishing fourth in the World Cross Country Junior men category here.

BENJAMIN Kiplagat, 19, helped Uganda reclaim a team podium finish after finishing fourth in the World Cross Country Junior men category here.

NORMAN KATENDE
in Edinburgh, Scotland

BENJAMIN Kiplagat, 19, helped Uganda reclaim a team podium finish after finishing fourth in the World Cross Country Junior men category here.

On a hilly and muddy track with a surprisingly warmer temperature, compared to the early morning drizzle, the 3000m steeplechase athlete shared the lead for much of the 8km race, but failed the sprinting test, giving the Ethiopian and a Kenyan a chance to take the individual positions, with him coming fourth, a position better than his last year’s fifth in Mombasa.

“It was a tough route and the hills were not so friendly,” said Kiplagat after the race.

His consolation was that he got a medal for the team in his last year as a junior, after leading Geoffrey Kusuro, Abraham Kiplimo, Stephen Kiprotich and Ben Siwa to a team bronze medal after two years of absence.

Uganda won bronze medals from 2000-2005 in the junior category, but had for the last two years settled for fifth and third places.

The fourth position is fast becoming synonymous with Uganda at world events with Boniface Kiprop finishing fourth at the Athens Olympics (2004) and Osaka World Championships (2005).

Also Wilson Busienei finished fourth at the World Road Running in Italy and Abraham Chepkirwok settled for fourth place at the World Championships in Osaka, a position outside the medal bracket.

Uganda's duo of Moses Kipsiro and Boniface Kiprop kept with in the lead pack in the seniors event for about four of the six-laps, but fizzled out when Bekele, who had lost a shoe in the second lap broke off with Tadese and the Kenyans Leonard Komen and Moses Masai giving chase for individual honours.

“It was tough downhill but we tried the best,” commented Kipsiro, Uganda’s best male achiever, his shoes covered with mud.

Bekele proved that he was the greatest cross country runner ever by winning his sixth senior men cross country title here yesterday.

All Ugandan athletes came within double digit places, finishing sixth to settle for the last team cash prize of sh6.7m.

Bekele capped an Ethiopian golden run, which saw athletes from the country winning all individual gold medals at the one-day race dominated by also Kenyans.

The teams’ performance was poorer than last year's outing, when the senior team won bronze in Mombasa.

The junior team does not win cash prizes, according to IAAF rules.

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Team Event
1 Kenya 21
2 Ethiopia 28
3 Uganda 37

Individual
1 E. Jeilan (ETH) 22:38
2 A. Abshero (ETH) 22:40
3 L. Rotich (Kenya) 22:42
4.B.Kiplagat 22:43
8 G. Kusuro 22:56
12 S. Kiprotich 23:09
13 A. Kiplimo 23:17
22 B. Siwa 24:01

Seniors
Team position
1 Kenya 39
2 Ethiopia 105
3 Qatar 144
6 Uganda 211

Individual Position
1 K. Bekele (ETH) 34:38
2 L. Komen (KEN) 34:41
3 Z. Tadese (UGA) 34:43
13 M. Kipsiro (UGA) 35:29
16 B. Kiprop (UGA) 35:41
29 M. Toroitich (UGA) 36:33
47 W. Busienei (UGA) 37:02
50 M. Aliwa (UGA) 37:08
56 S. Ayeko (UGA) 37:20
64 N. Kiprono (UGA) 37:32
131 N. Chebet (UGA) 39:10

Juniors pick bronze

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