Ugandan runners to the fore at the WMRA Mountain Running World Championships (© Nancy Hobbs / WMRA)
Uganda dominated the senior men’s race in impressive fashion at the 29th edition of WMRA Mountain Running World Championships 2013, in the Polish town of Krynica-Zdrój, with the first four men home on Sunday (8).
Philip Kiplimo won over the three-lap 13.56km course in 54:22 putting more than half-a-minute between himself and his nearest rival Geoffrey Kusuro, with his better-known compatriot crossing the line in 55:06.
Team mates Nathan Ayeko and Peter Kibet were third and fourth respectively in 55:19 and 55:27 respectively.
Uganda was obviously the comfortable winners of the team contest with a minimum 10 point tally.
The first non-Ugandan home was was Italy’s Bernard Dematteis in fifth place and the lead home the Italian team to the silver medals with Turkey, lead by six-time European champion Arslan Ahmet in eighth place, taking the bronze medals.
Eritrea's 2012 World Championships silver medallist Azeria Teklay finished down in ninth while the USA’s 2011 champion Max King dropped out after twisting an ankle after stepping on a loose rock just before the halfway point while lying in second place.
In the senior women’s race, Italy’s Alice Gaggi was the surprise winner, covering the two lap 9.08km course in 42:47 with Great Britain’s Emma Clayton second in 43:12.
Gaggi's best previous international result was finishing ninth in the European Championships last year but she was extra-motivated to do well as she celebrated her 26th birthday on Sunday.
Italy put two women on the podium when Elisa Desco crossed the line in 43:32 and with three women in the top seven, Antonella Confortola completing the scoring trio, the Azzuri took the team competition with 11 points.
Clayton got a second silver medal as Great Britain were second in the team competition, with Ireland third.
Italy had earlier won their first individual title of the day when Nekagenet Crippa triumphed over the 9.08km course, in 38:58. The silver medal was won by Turkey's pre-race favourite Ramazan Karagoz, while the bronze medal went to Austria's Manuel Innerhofer.
Czech Republic took the honours in the closest team competition of the day with 25 points, just four less than Italy.
USA took the first gold medal of the day when 18-year-old Mandy Ortiz, in her first international competition, won the junior women’s race over 4.65km in 22:56. The University of Colorado student is young enough to be eligible to defend her title in Italy next year.
Slovenia's Lea Einfalt took the silver medal while the bronze went to Turkey's Tubay Erdal.
Great Britain, with Annabel Mason fourth and Georgia Malir fifth, took the team title with nine points.
In total, 10 of the 39 competing nations won medals.
Italy topped the medal table with three golds, two silvers and one bronze. They were followed by Uganda with two gold medals, one silver medal and one bronze medal, and by Great Britain with one gold medal, two silvers and one bronze. Czech Republic and the USA had one gold medal each.