Kenya ruled the world once again after emerging overall champions of the inaugural World Athletics Road Running Championships held on Sunday in Riga,Latvia.
Kenya topped the medal table with a total of 5 gold, 3 silver, and 4 bronze medals , ahead of their arch-rivals Ethiopia, who bagged 7 medals: 2 gold, 4 silver, and a bronze.
The tantalizing performance saw Kenyans register a podium sweep in both men and women half marathons, as well as bagging both teams titles over the distance.
Olympic marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir, sustained stiff completion to retain last year’s title, outsprinting Margaret Chelimo by 80 meters to finish line with a championship time of 1:7:25, ahead of Chelimo and Catherine Relin who took silver and bronze medals, respectively.
It was the same story in the men’s 21km as Sebastien Sawe stamped his authority to outsprint world 5000m silver medalist Daniel Simiu Ebenyo with 50 meters to go, to clinch gold with a championship record of 59:10, while Simiu and Samwel Mailu, took silver and bronze medals in that order.
Reigning world cross country champion Beatrice Chebet opened the Kenyan medal basket, clinching victory in the 5km race with a championship record of 14:35, while compatriot Lillian Kasait was awarded silver, as Ethiopian Elgajehu Taye, who was leading until the last 100 meters, completed podium positions.
Ethiopians dominated the 5km men’s race Hagos Gebrehiwet winning gold, while silver went to Yomif Kejelcha, as Kenyan Nicholas Kipkorir took bronze.
The Road Mile’s race was full of surprises, with winners shattering world records.
American Hobbs Kesler set a new world record in the men’s race, clocking 3:56.15, while silver went to Briton Elson Calum as Samwel Prakel completed American dominance with a bronze.
Tripple 1500m world champion Faith Kipyegon led from the gun but was outsprinted by Ethiopian teen Diribe Welteji, who smashed the world record as her compatriot Hailu Frewyni scooped silver while Kipyegon settled for a bronze.