Jifar so near yet so far

Click to follow
The Independent Online
The world champion Paul Tergat, of Kenya, beat Ethiopia's Hapte Jifar by the narrowest of margins to win the World Cross Challenge, the International Amateur Athletic Federation's opening cross-country race of the season, in Brussels yesterday.

The margin of victory was the smallest the Olympic 10,000-metre silver medallist had ever experienced, with both runners given the same time of 31min 35sec. Five seconds covered the first five in the 10.5-kilometre race.

Jifar was clearly unhappy with the result, claiming that Tergat had impeded him in the final few metres after the Kenyan had misjudged the position of the finish line.

The European champion, Iulia Negura of Romania, continued her good run of form by outsprinting Ethiopia's Getenesh Urge in the 6km women's race.

Negura clocked 19min 59sec, with Urge one second further back after Negura kicked for home 50 metres out. Ethiopians filled four of the first six positions, with the world champion, Gete Wami, third in 20min 01sec. Six women had been in contention going into the last of the four laps of the race.