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19th World University Cross Country Championship

Entebe (UGA) - 2014

 

Host Country dominates the Podium

 

It was in the Ugandan heat that 42 female and 61 male student-athletes ran their best to bring home the first World University Champion titles of 2014. On a demanding course, at an altitude of 1,200 meters and under a leaden Ugandan sun, the women had to run 4 laps of the 1.5km course designed on the Entebbe Golf Club course, making it 6 km long while the men ran 7 laps for a total of 10.5 km to pocket the gold of the 19th World University Cross Country Championship.

 

From the beginning of the women’s race, the athletes of the host country took the lead while never looking back. Winneie Nanyondo pocketed the gold in 20:33.77 followed by her fellow countrywomen Dorcus Ajok (21:01,85) and Prim Twikiriza (21:06,14). For the team competitions, the two first places were easily attributed to Uganda, having held the three first places, and Japan, its three competitors arriving right after at the 4th, 5th and 6th places. For the third place Canada beat South Africa with a total of 38, placing a third continent on the podium.

 

In the men’s competition it was once again the host country which excelled in the individual event. Joshua Cheptegei (31:06.71) finished the race 6 seconds ahead of his first Kenyan opponent Daniel Muindi (31:12.79) after an intense battle throughout the race. The podium of the men’s individual race was then completed by another Kenyan athlete, Mark Lokwanamoi (32:33.26) finishing more than a minute behind his two opponents.

 

In the team ranking, Kenya, having placed its four best athletes between the second and fifth place, took the gold, with the host country coming second marking a total of 29 while Japan won its second medal of the day with the bronze and 47 points.

 

This 19th edition of the FISU WUC Cross Country concluded on a positive note as well as excellent statistics. With 18 participating countries coming from the five continents including 8 African countries – a WUC record – and medals distributed to three different continents, the universality of cross country is once again demonstrated. In total, 75 universities were represented during this event including some famous institutions such as Mc Master University (CAN), Monash University (AUS) but also Lausanne University (SUI) and of course the local Kampala University. This Championship was also a historical one for two countries, i.e. France becoming the only country to have attended all previous editions of the WUC Cross Country since its creation in 1978 and Oman having for the first time participated in the event.

 

The next edition, the 20th FISU World University Cross Country Championship will take place in Cassino (ITA), in 2016.