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Pair Of African Teenagers Dominate In Brussels

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Dec. 24, 2012
  • Updated Dec. 24, 2012 at 11:09 AM UTC
Ethiopia's Ruti Aga won in Brussels on Sunday.

Just 18, they held off some of the world’s best cross-coutnry runners on Sunday.

Gilbert Kirui and Ruti Aga are both just 18 years old, but that doesn’t mean they can’t run with the best.

Yesterday, the pair won the IRIS Lotto Crosscup in Brussels, Belguim. Kirui, who is Kenyan, pulled away from the pack at the halfway mark to win the men’s race (10.5K) by nine seconds. He had shared the lead with fellow Kenyan Alex Kibet and France’s Hassan Chahdi.

Chahdi had recently won silver at the European Cross-Country Championships in Budapest.

Kibet ended up taking second, while third went to Ethiopia’s Tsegay Tuemay.

“No, I don’t feel tired,” said a smiling Kirui afterwards. “I finished third here in a strong field last year and I wanted to come back and aim for gold. My shape is fine and I felt confident. That’s why I didn’t hesitate to break away at the halfway point.”

In the women’s race, Aga prevailed in a duel with reigning European cross-country champion Fionnuala Britton.

Her winning time for the 6K course, 20:48, was three seconds faster than Britton.

For More: IAAF

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at Competitor.com and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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