Bupa Great Edinburgh Cross Country a great success

Bupa Great Edinburgh Cross Country


Mo Farah produced a great start to his New Year with an awesome performance to win the International Men's Team Challenge at the Bupa Great Edinburgh Cross Country on Saturday.

Farah destroyed the hopes of his rivals with a tactical break with over a lap remaining, winning the eight kilometres race in 25 minutes 41 seconds ahead of the USA's Galen Rupp (25:50) and Spain's Ayad Lamsdassam (25:55).

His individual effort however was not good enough to guarantee a host nation victory. The performance of Lamdassam, who was followed home by Sergey Lebid, led a Europe Select team to victory with 50 points.

The United States finished three points behind with the GB & NI seniors third, totalling 69pts and its U23s squad fourth, aggregating 164.

Farah was happy to follow the early pace over the first three short course laps before bursting clear on the initial long course circuit to send a timely message to his rivals that this was a race he was determined to win.

Last summer's European 5000m and 10000m gold medallist chose the perfect spot to hurt the opposition, picking the very steep ascent of Haggis Knowle overlooking the Holyrood Park venue.

Linet Masai continued her outstanding winter form when clinching the 5.7 kilometres title for the second time in three years while there was a brave run from European Junior Charlotte Purdue, first Briton home in fourth place.

Masai, untroubled by the conditions, romped to an easy victory on the snow covered course in a time of 20min 24sec to finish six secs ahead of Ethiopia's Genzebe Dibaba with Vivian Cheruiyot third in 20min 36sec.

The 21-year-old reigning World 10000m champion destroyed the challenges of her Ethiopian and fellow Kenyan before the bell, with a powerful surge also up to Haggis Knowle, opening what was a decisive winning gap.

For Masai, a former world junior title holder, it was the perfect start to her cross country campaign where her intention is to finally win the World Championship senior gold medal after twice finishing second and also having a third place to her credit.

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