Ethiopians dominate junior races at Guiyang 2015 – IAAF World Cross Country Champs

By (Follow on Twitter @ athleticsafrica)

Ethiopian athletes dominated the junior races at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships, in China on Saturday March 28.

The national cross-country trials winner Letesenbet Gidey led her team to a clean sweep of the individual medals as she sped to victory over the final metres in 19:48.

The 17-year-old, who became the youngest junior women’s winner in 15 years, was competing in her first international race outside of Ethiopia.

‘s compatriots Dera Dida finished a close second for the silver medal in 19:49 and Etagegn Woldu took the bronze medal in 19:53.

It is the first time since won the junior race in 2004 that the Ethiopian women swept the podium and they were also easy winners of the team competition.

The pre-race favourites from Kenya, 2012 world junior steeplechase champion Daisy Jepkemei finished outside the medals in fourth place, but her 19:59 time provided the vital points for Team Kenya to claim the team silver medals.

The Bahraini team clinched their first ever medal in the junior women’s category, taking the team bronze medals behind Ethiopia and Kenya.

Yasin Haji defended Ethiopia’s honour

Yasin Haji wins the junior men's race at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships, Guiyang 2015 / Photo credit: © Getty Images for IAAF

Yasin Haji wins the junior men’s race at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships, Guiyang 2015 / Photo credit: © Getty Images for IAAF

ensured the junior men’s title remained in Ethiopian hands as he took the title in 23:42 ahead of Kenya’s Geoffrey Kipkirui Korir (23:47).

Kenya’s Alfred Ngeno settled for the bronze medal in a time of 23:54 ahead of his compatriot Dominic Kiptarus (24:00) in fourth place.

The 19-year-old only finished second at the Ethiopian Trials held at the Jan Meda International Cross Country in February, but on this occasion he had the beating of his compatriots – and the rest of the world.

However, Kenya reclaimed the team title from their neighbour and rival with 19 points to Ethiopia’s 33 points while Eritrea took away the team bronze medals.