Kenya Claims Unprecedented Team Victory At IAAF World Cross Country

Led by an individual title from Irene Cheptai, Kenya displayed the first ever clean sweep of the women's senior race at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Kampala, Uganda.

Running as a tight pack for the majority of the race, the Kenyan team of Cheptai, Alice Aprot Nawowuna, Lilian Kasait Rengeruk, Hyvin Kiyeng Jepkemoi, Agnes Jebet Tirop, and 1500m Olympic champion Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon finished in the top six spots to earn a dominant 10-point team victory over the field. Ethiopia followed for second with 45 points and Bahrain finished third with 58 points.

The International Association of Athletics Federations called the performance "unprecedented."

For race winner Cheptai, the performance was an improvement on her seventh-place finish at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Guiyang, China two years ago. She finished in 31:57, four seconds ahead of Nawowuna over the 10K course.

Olympic steeplechase champion Ruth Jebet finished seventh and was the first non-Kenyan to cross the line, leading the Bahrain team to a third-place finish.

The United States earned a fifth-place team finish with three competitors in the top 30. Team USA was well represented by Aliphine Tuliamuk, who despite a chip malfunction, finished 15th overall as the first American across the line. Stephanie Bruce finished in 21st and her teammate Natosha Rogers finished just behind her in 22nd to close out her first international team performance. Sarah Pagano followed in 29th, Elaina Balouris closed for 47th, and Emily Pritt finished 74th overall.


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