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Kenya takes gold after WXC photo finish drama

Kenyan Beatrice Chebet had an initial decision to place her third at the IAAF World Country Championships reversed in her favour as she took gold from an incredibly tight Women’s Under-20 race on Saturday.

Video reviews of a photo finish showed Chebet had breasted the tape ahead of Alemitu Tariku and Tsigie Gebreselama but the Ethiopian pair were controversially awarded gold and silver before it was shortly overturned.

In the Mixed Relay, teenager Fantu Worku ran a spectacular final leg to deliver a crushing victory for Ethiopia in the first event of 2019 World Cross Country Championships in Aarhus, Denmark.

Worku produced a stunning acceleration in the final lap to peel away from her Kenyan challenger Winfred Mbithe who ended up finishing third behind Moroccan Rababe Arafi.

The Ethiopians, who were second during the inaugural Mixed Relay race two years ago in Kampala, thus upgraded their silver medal to gold as pre-race favourites Kenya relinquished its title.

For the first three legs, Ethiopia and Kenya had been locked in a neck-and-neck battle with Morocco sitting in a distant third place. But everything changed on the final leg.

As their teammates had done on the first three stages, Worku and Mbithe ran close together for much of the final 2.14km leg. But with 23 minutes on the clock, Worku started to pull ahead to finally create some distance between Ethiopia and Kenya.

Her move was a decisive one and she seemed untroubled by the incline and decline of the Moesgaard Museum. It was a different story for Mbithe, however, who was caught by Morocco’s world and Olympic 1500m finalist Rababe Arafi.

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