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Masai third time lucky in Spain

SPAIN, Jan 5 – Kenya’s Linet Masai comfortably won the Amorebieta Cross Country meet in Northern Spain on Sunday, 13 seconds ahead of compatriot Vivian Cheruiyot in second place.

Masai, who is the reigning World Cross Country bronze medalist sliced the tape in a time of 21:36 in arctic conditions to re-establish herself as one of the rising cross country stars.

"Today has been quite a cold day but I felt fine during the race," said Masai who is also the reigning World Junior 10,000m holder.

"I like running at the front to be the in control of the race. My next outing will be on Saturday in Edinburgh," confirmed the Kenyan teenager who now has three wins in a row after victories in Llodio and Alcobendas last year.

Masai’s winning margin illustrated her dominance of the 6.7 kilometre course with the 19-year old opening up a 15 metre advantage over fellow Kenyan  and World 5000m silver medalist Cheruiyot in the last throes of the race.

Cheruiyot who finished the contest in 21:49 had to ward off a chasing pack that included European Cross Country silver medalists Ines Monteiro of Portugal and Spain’s Rosa Morató.

Masai switched on the afterburners in the third loop and moved at a pace which Cheruiyot failed to match after losing nine seconds and with 700m remaining.

In the men’s race, Kenya’s Moses Masai clocked 31:57 to finish second behind Eritrea’s Samuel Tsegay who won the race in 31:36 with countryman Kidane Tadese finishing third.

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Men (10.7Km):
 1. Samuel Tsegay (Eri) 31:36
 2. Moses Masai (Ken) 31:57
 3. Kidane Tadese (Eri) 32:02
 4. Yonas Kifle (Eri) 32:14
 5. Ayad Lamdassem (Esp) 32:17
 6. Alemayehu Bezabeh (Esp) 32:22
 7. Javier Guerra (Esp) 32:27
 8. Cuthbert Nyasango (Zim) 33:00
 9. José Ríos (Esp) 33:10
10. Eliseo Martín (Esp) 33:15

Women (6.7Km):
 1. Linet Masai (Ken) 21:36
 2. Vivian Cheruiyot (Ken) 21:49
 3. Ines Monteiro (Por) 22:50
 4. Rosa Morató (Esp) 22:57
 5. Zulema Fuentes-Pila (Esp) 23:05
 6. Meraf Batha (Eri) 23:19
 7. Simret Sultan (Eri) 23:20
 8. Aicha Bani (Mor) 23:53
 9. Yesenia Centeno (Esp) 24:10
10. Marta Romo (Esp) 24:13

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