Kenya’s Jebitok dominates with a solo run in Hannut Cross Country


The World Athletics Cross Country Tour saw two more champions crowned in the snowy landscape of Hannut, with Kenya’s Edinah Jebitok and Rwanda’s Yves Nimubona braving freezing conditions to claim their respective golds at the Energyvision CrossCup Hannut.

Jebitok, who has been in formidable form this season, extended her winning streak to three Gold-level victories. She dominated the women’s race from the outset, creating a sizable gap early on from her fellow competitors, Pamela Kosgei and Faith Chepkoech. Despite the challenging conditions, Jebitok’s relentless pace on the 9km course left her competition trailing. She finished the course in an impressive 31:01, a full 39 seconds ahead of the runner-up, Kosgei, who clocked in at 31:40. Great Britain’s Megan Keith overtook Chepkoech to secure third place with a time of 31:48, while Chepkoech ended up fourth.

In stark contrast, the men’s race was a nail-biting affair that saw Nimubona barely edge out Eritrea’s Merhawi Mebrahtu by a mere second. The victory was a historic moment for Nimubona, marking him as the first Rwandan man to win at the event. The leading pack initially consisted of five runners, but as the race unfolded, Nimubona, Mebrahtu, and Kenya’s Kibet Kandie broke away from the rest.

As the race approached its climax, Mebrahtu briefly took the lead, with Nimubona closely trailing. The Rwandan, however, wasn’t content to settle for second. With the finish line in sight and the bell signaling the final lap, Nimubona made his decisive move, reclaiming the lead. In a thrilling finish, Nimubona kicked for home, crossing the line in 28:29. Mebrahtu followed in 28:30, with Kandie securing the third spot at 28:42, narrowly holding off Uruguay’s Santiago Catroffe.

Nimubona’s victory is not just a personal achievement but also a milestone for Rwandan athletics, showcasing the country’s growing prowess in long-distance running. His performance, under the duress of stiff competition and challenging weather conditions, speaks to his resilience and determination.

Both Jebitok and Nimubona’s triumphs at Hannut are a testament to their skill and fortitude. As the Cross Country Tour continues, their victories in Hannut will surely be remembered as highlights of the season, inspiring fellow athletes and fans alike. The snow-covered course of Hannut has born witness to their sheer will to win, marking another chapter in the rich tapestry of cross country running.

Leading results

Women (9km)
1 Edinah Jebitok (KEN) 31:01
2 Pamela Kosgei (KEN) 31:40
3 Megan Keith (GBR) 31:48
4 Faith Chepkoech (KEN) 32:34
5 Jana van Lent (BEL) 33:18
6 Lili Anna Vindics-Toth (HUN) 33:46

Men (9km)
1 Yves Nimubona (RWA) 28:29
2 Merhawi Mebrahtu (ERI) 28:30
3 Kibet Kandie (KEN) 28:42
4 Santiago Catroffe (URU) 28:43
5 Guillaume Grimard (BEL) 28:56
6 Isaac Kimeli (BEL) 29:14

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