Kipyegon Defends World Junior XC Title

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Mar. 25, 2013
  • Updated Mar. 25, 2013 at 9:54 AM UTC
Faith Kipyego is now a two-time world junior cross-country champion. Photo:

19-year-old holds off rival Agnes Chebet Tirop at the finish.

The girl’s junior title at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships went, once again, to Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon. With her repeat win, the 19-year-old became just the third woman to retain a title in the history of the event.

The other two woman who pulled it off were Viola Kibiwot (2001 and 2002) and Genzebe Dibaba (2008 and 2009).

At the Worlds over the weekend in Bydgoszcz, Poland, Kipyegon began the race near the back with rivals Agnes Chebet Tirop of Kenya and Ethiopia’s Ruti Aga on the frozen, snow-covered course. After a few laps, however, Kipyegon moved up with fellow countrywoman Tirop to share the lead. Alemitu Heroye of Ethiopia then joined the duo.

Heroye, who won her country’s trials race, couldn’t stick with the pair and eventually faded.

With 300 meters to go, Kipyegon put down a final surge and cleared Tirop. But Kipyegon slowed moments before the line and Tirop, who was awarded the same time (17:51), nearly prevailed.

Heroye finished third, six seconds later.

For More: IAAF

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at 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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