Jebitok shines at Venta De Banos cross country meeting in Spain – The Star, Kenya

Edinah Jebitok cruised to victory in the 1st Cross Internacional de Venta de Banos, the seventh Gold level meeting of this season’s World Athletics Cross Country Tour, on Sunday in Spain.

The 1500m athlete clocked 28.44 with Ethiopian Likina Amebaw coming home second in 29:53 as Emine Mechaal of Turkey completed the podium positions in 30:53

Jebitok capitalised on the withdrawal of race favourite and compatriot Eva Cherono to take the victory.

The contest opened at a moderate pace, with Spain’s Carla Gallardo, Blanca Fernandez and Laura Luengo taking on the pacing duties, while 20-year-old Jebitok and Ethiopia’s Amebaw ran comfortably in the middle of the still large front group.

Some nine minutes into the race, the Kenyan decided to push a brisker pace and none of her rivals tried to follow in her footsteps.

The 1500m specialist created a wide margin on Amebaw in a matter of a few strides and before midway, it became clear that she would be the eventual winner on her first appearance on Spanish soil.

After a 7:08 penultimate lap, 12 seconds faster than the previous one, Jebitok went through the bell a massive 38 seconds ahead of Amebaw, herself a full minute clear of a quartet featuring the Spanish trio of Luengo, Fernandez and Beatriz Alvarez plus Turkey’s Emine Mechaal in what promised to be a stiff fight for the third place on the podium.

In the men’s category, Rodrique Kwizera of Burundi took top honours by registering 32:30 with as Ethiopian Nibret Malak came home second in 32:37 and Albert Chemutai of Uganda took the final podium position in 33:04.

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