IAAF World Cross Country Championships: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

IAAF World Cross Country Championships is the most important competition in international cross country running. Held annually and organised by International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), it was inaugurated in 1973, when it replaced the International Cross Country Championships. It will be an annual competition until 2010, when the IAAF will change it to a biennial event.[1]



Traditionally, the World Cross Country Championships consisted of four races: one each for men (12 km) and for women (8 km); and one each for junior men (8 km) and for junior women (6 km). Scoring was done for individuals and for national teams. In the team competition, the finishing positions of the top six scorers from a team of up to nine are summed for the men and women, respectively, and the low score wins. For the junior races, the top three from a team of up to four are scored.

The year 1998 saw the introduction of two new events at the World Cross Country Championships, a short race for men and a short race for women. The last time these 4 km races were held was 2006, and there are no public plans to bring them back.

In an incredible show of dominance, the senior men's team race has been won by Ethiopia or Kenya every year since 1981 in both the short and long races. These nations have enjoyed a similar strangle-hold on the junior men's races since 1982. In the senior men's 12 km race, Kenya won the world championships for an astounding 18 years in a row, from 1986 through 2003, a record of unequaled international success. Likewise on the women's side, only one other nation has won the long team race since 1991: Portugal, in 1994. These African nations were not quite so dominant in the short races, but they have won every women's junior race since its introduction in 1989.

Several athletes have won two or more individual titles: Carlos Lopes, the first man to win three times (although Jack Holden won the International Cross Country Championships four times between 1933 and 1939, Gaston Roelants between 1962 and 1972); John Ngugi, the first man to win five times; Paul Tergat, the first man to win five times in a row; Kenenisa Bekele, the only man to win both the short and long courses in the same year, which he did five years in a row, and whose win in 2008 gave him six long course championships, the most of anyone in history; Sonia O'Sullivan, first athlete ever to win both the long and short course double in the same year; Grete Waitz, the first woman to win five times (although Doris Brown Heritage won the International Cross Country Championships five times between 1967 and 1971); Lynn Jennings, who won three times; Derartu Tulu, who won three times; Tirunesh Dibaba, who won three times in the long course and once in the short course; Gete Wami, who won twice at the long course and once at the short; and Edith Masai, who won the short race three times. Tirunesh Dibaba was also once the junior women's champion.

Many consider the World Cross Country Championships to be the most difficult races to win, even more difficult than the Olympic Games. At most major championships, the world's best distance runners are separated into a few races, i.e. 3000 m Steeplechase, 5000 m, and 10,000 m. However, in the absence of the short course races, the World Cross Country Championships pit all runners against one another in only one race. Thus, the competition is quite fierce. It's no wonder, then, that several Olympic Champions have gotten their start as World Cross Country Champions: Carlos Lopes, marathon, 1984; John Ngugi, 5000 m, 1988; Khalid Skah, 10,000 m, 1992; and Kenenisa Bekele, 10,000 m, 2004 and 2008. Numerous other champions have medalled at the Olympic Games or the World Championships, or have set World Records.


Year City Country
1973 Waregem  Belgium
1974 Monza  Italy
1975 Rabat  Morocco
1976 Chepstow  Wales
1977 Düsseldorf  West Germany
1978 Glasgow  Scotland
1979 Limerick  Ireland
1980 Paris  France
1981 Madrid  Spain
1982 Rome  Italy
1983 Gateshead  United Kingdom
1984 East Rutherford  United States
1985 Lisbon  Portugal
1986 Colombier, Neuchâtel  Switzerland
1987 Warsaw  Poland
1988 Auckland  New Zealand
1989 Stavanger  Norway
1990 Aix-les-Bains  France
1991 Antwerp  Belgium
1992 Boston  United States
1993 Amorebieta  Spain
1994 Budapest  Hungary
1995 Durham  United Kingdom
1996 Stellenbosch  South Africa
1997 Turin  Italy
1998 Marrakesh  Morocco
1999 Belfast  Northern Ireland
2000 Vilamoura  Portugal
2001 Ostend  Belgium
2002 Dublin  Ireland
2003 Lausanne  Switzerland
2004 Brussels  Belgium
2005 Saint-Galmier  France
2006 Fukuoka  Japan
2007 Mombasa  Kenya
2008 Edinburgh  Scotland
2009 Amman  Jordan
2010 Bydgoszcz  Poland
2011 Punta Umbría  Spain


Year Men's long course Men's short course Women's long course Women's short course
1973  Pekka Päivärinta (FIN)  Paola Pigni (ITA)
1974  Erik De Beck (BEL)  Paola Pigni (ITA)
1975  Ian Stewart (SCO)  Julie Brown (USA)
1976  Carlos Lopes (POR)  Carmen Valero (ESP)
1977  Léon Schots (BEL)  Carmen Valero (ESP)
1978  John Treacy (IRL)  Grete Waitz (NOR)
1979  John Treacy (IRL)  Grete Waitz (NOR)
1980  Craig Virgin (USA)  Grete Waitz (NOR)
1981  Craig Virgin (USA)  Grete Waitz (NOR)
1982  Mohamed Kedir (ETH)  Maricica Puica (ROU)
1983  Bekele Debele (ETH)  Grete Waitz (NOR)
1984  Carlos Lopes (POR)  Maricica Puica (ROU)
1985  Carlos Lopes (POR)  Zola Budd (ENG)
1986  John Ngugi (KEN)  Zola Budd (ENG)
1987  John Ngugi (KEN)  Annette Sergent (FRA)
1988  John Ngugi (KEN)  Ingrid Kristiansen (NOR)
1989  John Ngugi (KEN)  Annette Sergent (FRA)
1990  Khalid Skah (MAR)  Lynn Jennings (USA)
1991  Khalid Skah (MAR)  Lynn Jennings (USA)
1992  John Ngugi (KEN)  Lynn Jennings (USA)
1993  William Sigei (KEN)  Albertina Dias (POR)
1994  William Sigei (KEN)  Hellen Chepngeno (KEN)
1995  Paul Tergat (KEN)  Derartu Tulu (ETH)
1996  Paul Tergat (KEN)  Gete Wami (ETH)
1997  Paul Tergat (KEN)  Derartu Tulu (ETH)
1998  Paul Tergat (KEN)  John Kibowen (KEN)  Sonia O'Sullivan (IRL)  Sonia O'Sullivan (IRL)
1999  Paul Tergat (KEN)  Benjamin Limo (KEN)  Gete Wami (ETH)  Jackline Maranga (KEN)
2000  Mohammed Mourhit (BEL)  John Kibowen (KEN)  Derartu Tulu (ETH)  Kutre Dulecha (ETH)
2001  Mohammed Mourhit (BEL)  Enock Koech (KEN)  Paula Radcliffe (GBR)  Gete Wami (ETH)
2002  Kenenisa Bekele (ETH)  Kenenisa Bekele (ETH)  Paula Radcliffe (GBR)  Edith Masai (KEN)
2003  Kenenisa Bekele (ETH)  Kenenisa Bekele (ETH)  Werknesh Kidane (ETH)  Edith Masai (KEN)
2004  Kenenisa Bekele (ETH)  Kenenisa Bekele (ETH)  Benita Johnson (AUS)  Edith Masai (KEN)
2005  Kenenisa Bekele (ETH)  Kenenisa Bekele (ETH)  Tirunesh Dibaba (ETH)  Tirunesh Dibaba (ETH)
2006  Kenenisa Bekele (ETH)  Kenenisa Bekele (ETH)  Tirunesh Dibaba (ETH)  Gelete Burka (ETH)
2007  Zersenay Tadese (ERI)  Lornah Kiplagat (NED)
2008  Kenenisa Bekele (ETH)  Tirunesh Dibaba (ETH)
2009  Gebre-egziabher Gebremariam (ETH)  Florence Kiplagat (KEN)


  1. ^ 47th IAAF Congress – Day 1. IAAF (2009-08-12). Retrieved on 2009-08-14.

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