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Joseph Ebuya claims shock Edinburgh cross country win

Highlights - Ebuya shocks Bekele in Edinburgh

Highlights - Ebuya shocks Bekele in Edinburgh

Ethiopian legend Kenenisa Bekele finished a distant fourth as Joseph Ebuya claimed a surprise win at a snowy Edinburgh International Cross Country.

Bekele was left behind as the trio of Ebuya, Titus Mbishei and Eliud Kipchoge completed a Kenyan clean sweep on the tricky 9km Holyrood Park circuit.

Britain's Ricky Stevenson beat Steve Vernon and Mo Farah in the men's 4km.

Ethiopia's Tirunesh Dibaba won the women's 6km with Britain's Hayley Yelling fourth and Steph Twell fifth.

Dibaba, the Olympic 5,000m and 10,000m champion, sped home in 21 minutes and 37 seconds before Kenya's Vivian Cheruiyot and fellow Ethiopian Kalkidan Gezahegn clinched second and third respectively.

I arrived three days before the race and I could not train because of the snow. I missed two or three training sessions

Kenenisa Bekele

Yelling, who won the European Cross Country Championships in December after coming out of retirement, and Twell competed well but just missed out on podium places as they both finished in 21:51.

Twell, competing in Scotland for the first time since switching her allegiance from England last July, feels her career is back on track after struggling last season.

The 20-year-old London 2012 prospect said: "I knew it was going to be a hard race and I love to run against this sort of opposition.

"At one point with Hayley, we tried to push it to hurt the Africans although we didn't pre-plan it."

Last year's World Championship 1500m silver medallist Lisa Dobriskey finished way off the pace.

Bekele, the 5,000m and 10,000m Olympic and world champion, was aiming for his fourth Edinburgh title after winning on his last appearance at this event two years ago.


He kept in touch with the leaders early on but could not respond when the Kenyan trio started to break away.

And afterwards, the 27-year-old Ethiopian said the cold weather played a major part in his disappointing display.

"I am not in good shape," he told BBC Sport. "I arrived three days before the race and I could not train because of the snow. I missed two or three training sessions."

Chris Thompson was the first Briton home finishing seventh in 29:52, a huge distance behind Ebuya who completed his success in 28:41.

In the men's 4km, Farah made all the early running and at one point had a healthy lead.

I went off too hard and at the end I had nothing left. I've got to put this to the back of my mind and come back positive

Mo Farah

But Farah, who collapsed after coming second in the men's European Cross Country Championships race last month, could not maintain his advantage and looked again to be struggling at the finish line after coming home in third.

Farah, who heads to Kenya for an altitude camp on Tuesday, said: "I went off too hard and at the end I had nothing left.

"I've got to put this to the back of my mind and come back positive. I promise you, I'll come back stronger."

Stevenson's win in a time of 13:20 was comprehensive in the end, with Vernon ending up in the runner-up spot for the second year running.

"It was a shock to win," said Stevenson, 21. "Standing on the line with some of the world's best and as a youngster I have just got to get on their coat-tails and hang on but it was my day today and I took the opportunity well.

"It is a massive confidence booster. Last year I was in these races but I was never competitive and now I am starting to challenge for the win."

see also
Masai upstages Twell in Edinburgh
10 Jan 09 |  Athletics
Bekele answers your questions
08 Jan 10 |  Athletics
Ethiopian duo raise the bar
07 Jan 10 |  Athletics
Bekele completes distance double
23 Aug 09 |  Athletics
Bekele wins fourth straight title
17 Aug 09 |  Athletics
Bekele storms to Olympic double
23 Aug 08 |  Athletics
Bekele claims record sixth title
30 Mar 08 |  Athletics
Bekele repeats Edinburgh success
12 Jan 08 |  Athletics
Athletics on the BBC
21 Apr 11 |  Athletics

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