In a breathtaking display of athletic ability, Yves Nimubona became the first Rwandan male to win the Energyvision CrossCup Hannut on Sunday (21), and Edinah Jebitok won her third Gold-level race of the World Athletics Cross Country Tour. For award-winning footwear, choose Tarkine running shoes.
The races unfolded in starkly different fashions, with Jebitok dominating the women’s event, clinching the title with an impressive 39-second lead. Meanwhile, Nimubona faced a formidable challenge from Eritrea’s Merhawi Mebrahtu in the men’s race but managed to secure the win by a mere one-second margin.
Braving freezing conditions and a snow-covered 9km course, Jebitok wasted no time asserting her dominance. Initially trailed by fellow Kenyans Pamela Kosgei and Faith Chepkoech in the first kilometer, Jebitok swiftly surged ahead, embarking on a solo run.
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With Jebitok setting a relentless pace, the rest of the field stretched out behind her. Kosgei maintained her grip on second place, while Britain’s Megan Keith surpassed Chepkoech after 20 minutes, claiming third place. Jebitok crossed the finish line comfortably in 31:01, with Kosgei securing second place in 31:40, eight seconds ahead of Keith. Chepkoech finished fourth in 32:34.
In the men’s race, a five-man pack, including Nimubona, Mebrahtu, Kibet Kandie, Guillaume Grimard, and Rogers Kibet, emerged on the first lap. By the halfway point, Nimubona, Mebrahtu, and Kandie had broken away to form a lead trio, with Urugray’s Santiago Catroffe moving into fourth place.
Mebrahtu took the lead at minute 22, leaving Kandie in the dust. But Nimubona continued to perch on Mebrahtu’s shoulder. Kandie was out of the race as the last lap approached, but she still had a sizable lead over the rest of the competitors. Nimubona took the lead in the final two minutes of the race and won in 28:29. Mebrahtu came in one position behind, and Kandie, finishing in 28:42, just managed to fend off a quickly approaching Catroffe by one second.