Athletics: Tergat leads clean sweep by Kenyans
Monday 25 March 1996
The "little bit of magic" for which the British men's team captain, Dave Clarke, had been hoping at Saturday's World Cross-country Championships failed to materialise.
But as Kenya brought off another clean sweep of team titles in Stellenbosch - with Paul Tergat defending his individual title against Ethiopia's multiple world record holder, Haile Gebrselassie - Britain managed a respectable fifth place in the men's team event.
John Brown, winner of the prestigious Gasparilla 15k road race in Florida earlier this month, was the first Briton - and European - home in 12th place.
Although only one colleague, the 28th-placed John Nuttall, finished inside the top 40, good grouping from the other four counting scorers - Rob Denmark (45th), Andrew Pearson (51st), trial winner Keith Cullen (57th) and newcomer Darius Burrows (59th) - saw the team finish one place below the leading Europeans, Spain.
Denmark's showing justified the selectors' decision to give him a discretionary place after he finished outside the qualifying places at the trial.
As expected, injury and illness took the edge off Paula Radcliffe, Britain's world junior champion of 1992. She finished in 19th, six places behind Ireland's silver medallist of last year, Catherina McKiernan, and the women's team were 11th overall.
Tergat, who won this event in Durham last year, had approached this race with insouciance - "defending the world championships is a foregone conclusion" - but he benefited from a stumble by Gebrselassie as he seemed poised to strike. After catching his leading leg on a log hurdle on the final lap, the 5,000 and 10,000m world record holder had to fight to keep his balance and Tergat burst to the front.
Tergat finished 12 seconds clear of Morocco's Sala Hissou with Ismael Kirui of Kenya a further second back in third place. He is now in pursuit of the record of five world titles achieved by his compatriot, John Ngugi.
Kenya underlined their superiority with six athletes in the top 10 and were unchallenged in the day's four team competitions. They have won 31 out of 32 team events in the last eight years.
In the women's race, Ethiopia's Gete Wami finished 600 metres clear after her training partner, the defending champion Derartu Tulu, had lost a shoe jostling with Kenyan rivals.
Latest in Sport
Brendan Rodgers says Manchester City's slip is timely warning for Liverpool title hopes
30 players who could be set for a big-money transfer this summer
Manchester United transfer news: David Moyes watches Porto stars Eliaquim Mangala and Jackson Martinez as recruitment drive steps up a gear
Barcelona 1 Real Madrid 2 match report: Gareth Bale scores wonder goal to claim Copa del Rey for Real
Luis Suarez: Could Liverpool cash in on their star striker if they won the Premier League this season?
- 1 Poveglia: 'World's most haunted island' up for sale...is anyone brave enough to buy it?
- 2 The Hobbit: There and Back Again set for possible title change
- 3 Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'
- 4 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 5 Andre Johnson: Wu-Tang Clan-discovered rapper severed his penis and jumped from LA building
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Nigel Farage on Have I Got News For You: Ukip leader ridiculed over expenses and party 'fruitcakes'
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a company that specializ...
£153.75 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is an innovative outsourcin...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We've been supplying best of breed peopl...