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Home News African domination at the 2024 FISU World University Championships Cross Country in Muscat

African domination at the 2024 FISU World University Championships Cross Country in Muscat

Championships 19 February 2024

South Africa is the great winner of this first ever FISU event to be hosted by the Sultanate of Oman. Great Britain, Spain, France, Uganda and Japan also claimed medals on a relatively flat terrain of the campus of the Military Technological College.

Some of the delegations from the 23 countries taking part in the event.

Two days of thrilling competition, a rich and much enjoyed cultural program, and an average temperature of 30C, this sums up in a few words the first ever FISU event hosted by Oman: the 23rd FISU World University Championships Cross Country.

The long mixed relay on the campus of Muscat’s Military Technological College.

After a colourful opening ceremony, the races started off with the mixed relays on the Saturday, first the short distance (3km), then the long (10km). The relatively flat terrain – the course was set on the south end of the campus of the Military Technological College – was mainly made out of sand, stones, some key obstacles and some water, and didn’t scare off the athletes that chose to run barefoot!

Team Great Britain leading the short mixed relay.

The first gold medal went to team Great Britain (Tyler Bilyard, Tia Wilson, Alexander Melloy and Bethan Morley) who beat Spain and South Africa by over three kilometres.

Andrea Romero Escandell crosses the line : team Spain win the long mixed relay!

Spain didn’t take long to get their revenge, since they won the long mixed relay only minutes later thanks to Miguel Baidal Marco, Alicia Berzosa MartÍn, Angel MartÍnez Chazarram and Andrea Romero Escandell. France took the silver and South Africa the bronze.

Keanu Cameron Domingo beat fellow South-African Christopher Liam Swart and Spain’s Adam Maijo Frigola.

On the second and last day, it was time for the individuals to shine, starting off once again with the short distance, and then moving onto more laps for the long race. South Africa took both women’s and men’s short distance titles, thanks to Simonay Weitsz and Keanu Cameron Domingo and also added the women’s long distance trophy to their collection with Maria Karambo Mailula’s success.

Three medals, three continents with Maria Karabo Mailula (RSA), Alice Goodall (GBR) and Haruka Ogawa (JPN).

And Africa carried on shining throughout when Seth Akampa from Uganda crossed the 10km race line first. With her bronze medal in the short distance, Haruka Ogawa from Japan made sure to represent Asia on at least one of the podiums in Muscat.

Uganda’s Seth Akampa receives flowers after FISU President Leonz Eder (in blue and white) put his brand new gold medal around his neck

FISU President Leonz Eder made sure he was in Oman for this historical event and he took great pleasure in decorating the winners and spending time with Dr. Salim Al-Araimi, the President of Oman Committee for University Sport.

Written by Thérèse Courvoisier