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NZ at IAAF World Cross

IAAF World Cross Country Championships, Punta Unbria – 20 March 2011

Cross Country

Cross Country

Senior men 12km, Jake Robertson 61st 36m 41s, Zane Robertson 93rd 38m 8s, Alex Parlane 107th 40m 39s. Won by Imana Marga of Ethiopia in 33m 50s. 111 finished.Senior women 8km, Leonora Joy-Petrina 86th 28m 44s, Fiona Crombie 94th 29m 27s, Sarah Biss 97th 30m 47s. Won by Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya in 24m 58s. 101 finished.

Report from the manager Craig Motley:

Very hot day in Punta Umbria – probably 25 degrees plus by the time senior women started. Much hotter the last two days than the previous four days when it was more like 15-17 degrees with a cool breeze blowing off the Atlantic.

Senior Women finished as follows – Leonora Joy-Petrina 86th – Leonora was up in the 60s after a fast first lap but then dropped back a little before finishing strongly to be 43s ahead of Fiona Crombie (94th) at the finish. Fiona was in the high 80s-early 90s throughout but was disappointed with her run. Sarah Biss unfortunately had problems with her asthma early on although she struggled on to the finish.

In the men’s race the pace was very quick from the start but Jake Robertson was running very well through the first 4km featuring strongly in the second big pack (approx 24-35th place) before being tripped in a tangle with another runner shortly after the start of lap three. The fall immediately cost him 15-20 places and also injured his calf. Jake ran hard over the next 4km but made no headway before fading a little further in the last two laps to eventually finish 63rd (61st – see below) despite an obvious limp from the sore leg. Zane Robertson started quite quickly and the early pace took its toll as he after 4km he drifted back through the field eventually finishing 95th (93rd). Alex Parlane in his New Zealand debut ran strongly throughout but found the early pace and the heat quite tough eventually finishing 109th (107th). All three did very well to finish as it became extremely hot and there were several withdrawals due to the heat and several athletes in distress at the finish. All the NZ men were advanced two places due to the disqualification of two athletes in the top 20 for what was apparently a quite spectacular fight coming down the home straight and which continued after the finish line.

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