AUCKLAND, Reuter: John ‘Ngugi became the first man in modern times to win three successive world cross country titles, leading Kenya to an overwhelming victory in the men’s team event on Saturday.
Ina repeat of last year’s 12km race, Ngugi pushed compatriot Paul Kipkoech into second place. Another Kenyan, 37yearold hill farmer William Koskei, finished a distant third.
In an unprecedented clean sweep the Kenyan team, reveling in the perfect running conditions at Ellerslie Pace course, took eight of the first nine places.
Earlier, Ingrid Kristiansen of Norway extended her domination of long distance running to the cross country arena by winning the women’s race.
Both the senior races, run in bright sunshine on a lush grass carpet, featured a break way by two athletes early on.
Kristiansen and Britain’s Angela Too by took the women’s event by the scruff of the neck while Ngugi and Kipkoech moved well out of range of the rest of the 210strong field on the third of five laps.
Kipkoech, the world 10,000 meters champion, stayed on the shoulder of the long limbed ambling Ngugi until the fourth lap, as the two built a 200meter lead.
But Ngugi upped the pace with three kilometers to go, shaking off his rival whom he knew had a faster finish. The 25yearold civil servant sat on a 150meter lead over the final lap to become the first runner since Englishman Jack Holden in 1935 to win three times in a row.
Article extracted from this publication >> April 1, 1988