Athletics: Kenyans cruise to victory

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The Independent Online
For Kenya's teenaged training partners, Ismail Kirui and Rose Cheruiyot, Saturday's IAAF Cross Country Challenge at Mallusk, near Belfast, proved to be a case of another day, another dollar.

Just as they had at Durham a week earlier, each picked up $10,000 (£6,400) for first place, although on this occasion Kirui, the 19-year-old world 5,000 metres champion, was made to work a little harder as he finished just a second ahead of Zimbabwe's Philemon Hanneck, the Commonwealth 5,000m silver medallist.

Disturbingly for Britain, who will host the world cross country championships at Durham in March, none of their leading men mounted a serious challenge. The veteran Dave Clarke was the leading Briton, in eighth place; behind him were Dave Lewis (13th), Rob Denmark - who beat Hanneck to the gold in Victoria - in 24th, Steve Tunstall in 27th and John Nuttall in 36th.

Even though Richard Nerurkar and Andrew Pearson were absent, it was hardly a performance to raise high hopes for 25 March.

Come that day, the 18-year-old Cheruiyot will present a formidable task for the likes of Catherina McKiernan, who pulled out of this event to concentrate on training, Paula Radcliffe and - if she is fit - Andrea Wallace, who finished fourth on Saturday.

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