Emma Clayton leads senior women to team silver, while GB’s junior men bag bronze in Italy
Isaac Kiprop led a Uganda clean-sweep in the senior men’s race and Austria’s Andrea Mayr won the senior women’s event at a World Mountain Running Championships in which Great Britain & Northern Ireland’s athletes won two sets of team medals.
Kiprop clocked 53:50 for the mainly uphill 11.7km course in Casette di Massa, Italy, and was followed over the line by team-mates Daniel Rotich and Soyekwo Kibet who ran respective times of 55:10 and 55:24. Easily also securing team gold thanks to those performances, Uganda were joined on the podium by Eritrea and Italy. The GB team finished fifth overall, Nick Swinburn the first to finish with 59:09 for 19th. Andrew Douglas clocked 59:28 for 21st, while Robbie Simpson and Orlando Edwards placed 30th and 33rd respectively with times of 60:39 and 61:08. Rob Jebb was 80th and Tom Addison 82nd with 65:16 and 65:28 respectively.
With her victory, Mayr claimed her fifth world title. Behind her comfortably winning 45:07 for the 8.4km course, Kenya’s Lucy Wambui Murigi clocked 47:49 for silver ahead of Allison McLaughlin of the USA with 47:55. The Italian team did the best overall, however, and the hosts claimed team gold, led by Alice Gaggi who finished eighth – one place ahead of GB’s Emma Clayton who ran 50:11 to lead her team to silver. Behind Clayton, who claimed world individual silver over an up and down course in 2013, her GB team-mates Rebecca Robinson finished 14th in 51:11 and Mary Wilkinson clocked 51:52 for 18th. Katie Walshaw ran 54:31 for 42nd. USA bagged team bronze.
Also racing over an 8.4km course were the junior men with a Ugandan athlete again victorious. Phillip Kipyeko ran 40:51 as Turkish athletes filled the other two podium places – Ramazan Karagoz with 42:42 for silver and Ferhat Bozkurt 42:53 for bronze – securing them the team gold ahead of Italy and GB. Andrew Lawler led the Brits with 46:37 for 11th. Two places behind Lawler was his team-mate Maximilian Nicholls who clocked 47:18 ahead of Jacob Adkin who finished 23rd in 48:41. Max Wharton ran 49:25 for 28th.
Earlier on and Uganda’s Stella Chesang had won the 3.8km junior women’s event, clocking 19:23 to comfortably beat Germany’s Sarah Kistner with 20:38 and Michaela Stranska of the Czech Republic with 21:01. Team gold went to Germany as USA got the silver and Czech Republic the bronze.
GB’s junior women finished just outside the medals in fourth overall, Catriona Graves the quickest with 21:23 for 5th. Heidi Davies was 14th in 21:50 and Georgia Malir 18th in 22:20.
“The challenge now is to get more of our athletes in the mix for individual medals in the uphill only discipline,” said GB team leader Sarah Rowell.
“Impressive performances in particular came from Catriona Graves who paced this race well. She went from outside the top twenty with 1km to go into 5th. Andrew Lawler, who has made a big step up in the last 12 months, finished only just outside the top ten and led the junior men to a well-deserved bronze medal and Nick Swinburn executed his race plan meticulously to give him a well-deserved top twenty.”
» Full results can be found here