• Can and Ndikumweanyo take honors at the Cross Internacional de Italica

Posted by: Watch Athletics

Four-time European Cross Country Champion Yasemin Can from Turkey, and 3000 meters world seasonal outdoor leader Thierry Ndikumweanyo from Burundi took the honors at the Cross Internacional de Italica near Seville, the sixth leg of the World Athletics Cross Country Tour Gold. 

Can and Olympic 3000m steeplechase champion Peruth Chemutai from Uganda ran a neck-to-neck race on the final lap. Chemutai tried to pull away from Can on an uphill section of the course with 750 meters to go.

Can held off Chemutai's challenge to take the lead and launched her decisive kick with 450 meters to go before crossing the finish line in 32:31 with a gap of three seconds over Chemutai. 

Purity Chepkirui from Kenya crossed the finish line in 33:47. Isabel Barreiro, who won the World Athletics Cross Country race in Amorebieta this year, finished fourth in 33:57 and first among the Spanish athletes ahead of Marta Garcia (34:07) Meselu Berhe from Ethiopia (34.08) and Carolina Robles from Spain (34:11). 

Yasemin Can: ""I am happy with the win. I am optimistic about my chances at the European Cross Country Championships in Turin on December 11 on the day of my 26th birthday"". 

Men's race: 

Thierry Ndikumwenayo won the men'smen's race in 28:51, beating his compatriot Rodrigue Kwizera in a close race at the same time of 28:51. 

Spain's 2017 European Cross Country silver medallist Adel Mechaal led the front group, which featured Ndikumwenayo, Kwizera, world 10000m silver medalist Stanley Waithaka and Levy Kibet. 

Ndikumwenayo went to the front for the first time with 11 minutes on the clock to lead a group of eight runners. World bronze medallist Mohamed was running in second place ahead of Kwizera and Waithaka. During the penultimate lap, Merhawi Mebrathu took the lead, and the leading pack was whittled down to six athletes. Kwizera led at the bell with a close margin over Ndikumwenayo and Katir. 

Kwizera pushed the pace in the final lap, and Katir could not keep his pace. The race became a battle between Ndikumweanyo, Kwizera, Kibet, and Waithaka. 

Ndikumwenayo and Kwizera built a solid margin on their Kenyan rivals with 500 meters to go. Ndikumwenayo launched his final kick to edge Kwizera by a very close margin with he same time at 28:51.

Kibet took third place in 28:57, holding off Waithaka by three seconds in the race'srace's final stages. Mohamed Katir finished sixth and first among the Spanish runners in 29:17 behind Mebrathu (29:08). 

Ndikumwenayo clocked a world-leading time of 7:25.93 in the 3000 meters in the Monaco Diamond League meeting last August.  

Thierry Ndikumweanyo: ""This is my third consecutive win this cross-country season. I am surprised because I only began to train two months ago, after the summer break, but I felt great physically and mentally. I will now stop competing and will do a 25-day training camp in the altitude of Sierra Nevada. My next event might be a New Year'sYear's Eve in Spain, but it is not confirmed yet".

The next World Athletics Cross Country Tour Gold event will occur on Sunday, November 27 in Alcobendas, Spain.

See more info on the Cross Internacional de la Constitucion Alcobendas here.

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