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
Riyad Mahrez to Arsenal: 'No price' is big enough to convince Claudio Ranieri to sell Algerian hotshot
Arsenal transfer news: Arsene Wenger 'optimistic' of making signing, Grzegorz Krychowiak and Edinson Cavani linked
Barbarians vs Samoa interrupted by sprinklers as fans criticise lack of Wi-Fi and poor seating at West Ham's Olympic Stadium
Chelsea 1 Crystal Palace 2: Jose Mourinho uses forward Kenedy at left-back as frustration with Chelsea defence grows
Chelsea 1 Crystal Palace 2: Blues' Twitter account jumps the gun, seconds before Joel Ward goal seals Eagles' victory
- 1 Rules on 5p plastic bags likely to lead to arguments at the check-out
- 2 Hulk Hogan wants to be Donald Trump's running mate in the US Presidential election
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
£28000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...
£22000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company's mission is to ma...
£13832 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This 5 star leisure destination on the w...
£20000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Account Manager is requ...