News24 Mar 2001

Historic Double "Double" in Prospect


Historic Double "Double" in Prospect
Mark Butler for IAAF

24 March 2001 - It is quite possible that, for the first time, both World Junior Cross Country titles could be retained. The Kenyan pair who won in Vilamoura twelve months ago, Robert Kipchumba and Vivian Cheruiyot, are among this year's entry.

Kipchumba also won the World Junior track 10,000m title last year, but his appearance in Ostend was threatened by a spell of malaria, which caused him to drop out of the Kenyan Trial race. He had already alerted officials to his condition, so was permitted to join the Kenyan training camp, where his form returned. Duncan Lebo, second to Kipchumba in Vilamoura, is also back, as are seven from the top 10 12 months ago. Among these are Tanazanian Faustin Baha, who made such an impact at half marathon running last autumn.

He won the prestigious Great North Run and placed second to Paul Tergat in the World Half Marathon. It is exactly 10 years since the last Tanzanian victory in these championships, by Andrew Sambu, who won the junior race in Antwerp, when the event was last staged in Belgium. However, Baha is also entered for both senior races here and may chose to concentrate on one or both of those.

Cheruiyot is still known by the nickname "Kadogo", meaning "small one," even though she has grown considerably since her first appearance in these championships as a diminutive 14 year-old in Marrakech. She already has more junior medals, five, than any other woman in the history of these championships, but no woman has ever successfully defended a world junior title. Cheruiyot, and Olympic finalist at 500om in Sydney, has won both the Eldoret junior races and Kenyan junior titles this year, though Peniniah Chepchumba was only one second behind in the latter. Another contender with Olympic experience is Ethiopian Junior Champion Abebech Nigussie. She was eighth in Vilamoura and went on to take the World Junior 1500m title in Santiago. At the other end of the distance running scale, Ethiopia also have Aster Bacha, a top 20 finisher in last year's World Half Marathon. Like the men's race, there is a high return from the top finishers from the 2000 junior race including the entire top three.

Names to Watch
Junior Men
Tim Stessens BEL 8-7-1982 2001 Belgian Junior XC Champion
Beruk Debrework ETH 25-8-1982 Team silver & 5th individually at 2000 World Junior XC
Mohamed Farah GBR 23-3-1983 Led Britain to team gold in 1999 European Junior XC at age 16
Robert Kipchumba KEN 24-2-1984 Defending World Junior Cross Country Champion ... also World Junior 10,000 Champion
Edwin Koech KEN 15-5-1983 Team gold & 10th individually in 2000 World Junior XC
Duncan Lebo KEN 30-12-1982 Junior team golds at 1999 & 2000 World XC ... individual silver in 2000
Kiplimo Muneria KEN 28-8-1983 2001 Kenyan Junior XC Champion ... team gold & 10th individually in 2000 World Junior XC
Abdelatif Chemlal MAR 1982 2000 World Junior Steeplechase bronze
Daniel Andrew TAN 30-6-1984 2001 Tanzanian Junior XC Champion
Faustin Baha TAN 30-5-1982 2000 World Half Marathon silver ... 7th in 2000 World Junior XC
Martin Sulle TAN 28-12-1982 1999 World Junior XC team bronze ... 5th in 2000 World Junior XC
Cuthbert Nyasango ZIM 17-9-1982 7th in 2000 World Junior 5000

Junior Women
Georgie Clarke AUS 17-6-1984 1999 World Youth 800 Champion ... 2000 World Junior 800 silver & 1500 bronze
Mieke Gees BEL 10-3-1982 1999 European Youth 800 Champion ... 2001 Belgian Junior XC Champion
Aster Bacha ETH 1983 17th in 2000 World Half Marathon Abebech Nigussie ETH 2-1-1983 2000 Wold Junior 1500 Champion ... 8th in 2000 World Junior XC ... 2001 Ethiopian XC Champion
Naoko Sakata JPN 1-5-1982 Japanese junior 3000 record holder ... Junior team bronze at 1999 World XC
Peninah Chepchumba KEN 14-1-1985 2nd in 2001 Kenyan Junior XC; no relation to Joyce or Pamela
Vivian Cheruiyot KEN 9-11-1983 Defending World Junior XC Champion, also 2nd in 1999 & 5th in 1998 ... Sydney Olympic 5000 finalist
Fridah Domongole KEN 15-1-1984 Team gold & 6th individually in 2000 World Junior XC
Viola Kibiwott KEN 22-12-1983 Individual bronze &team gold in 2000 World Junior XC ... Also know as Jelagat Kibiwott ... At WXC: 2000-3J. 2 Kenyan 5000 99
Alice Timbilil KEN 16-6-1983 Individual silver &team gold in 2000 World Junior XC ... 1999 Kenyan senior 10,000 Champion ... Sydney Olympic 10,000 finalist
Elvan Can TUR 9-11-1982 Formerly Hewan Abeye ETH, 9th in 1999 World Junior XC ... 1999 European Junior 5000 silver
Jane Makombe ZIM 6-2-1984 Top 20 finish at past two editions of World Junior XC