World Athletics Cross country

Cherono beats quality field to win cross country permit meeting in Spain

Cherono clocked 27:10 as Rose Chelimo of Bahrain finishing second in 27:31 with Portuguese European U20 3000m bronze medallist Marian Machado of Portugal completed the final podium position in 27:39

In Summary

•Cherono's next event will be a road race event in Vienna, Austria next month

• Cherono also sets sights on 2020 Olympics next year 

Eva Cherono running at a past cross country event
Eva Cherono running at a past cross country event

Eva Cherono showed her class by winning 38th Cross Internacional de la Constitución in Alcobendas, Spain, on Sunday, the third stop of the 2019-20 World Athletics Cross Country Permit series held over a dry surface despite the previous days’ rains.

Cherono clocked 27:10 as Rose Chelimo of Bahrain finishing second in 27:31 with PortugueseEuropean U20 3000m bronze medallist Marian Machado of Portugal completed the final podium position in 27:39.

Machado set the early pace alongside 2017 world marathon champion Rose Chelimo. After the opening kilometre this pair was marginally ahead of Portugal’s Carla Salomé Rocha and Cherono, who had decided to take it easy in the early stages.

However, the 23-year-old Kenyan soon took command of the race and with seven minutes on the clock heated up the rhythm to open a sizeable margin over the rest in a matter of few hundred meters.

A 7:42 2.3km loop from Cherono effectively ended the hopes of any other competitor as she had built a 10-second margin over Chelimo and Machado by halfway, this tandem another eight seconds clear of Rocha. At the bell, with 2.3km left, the World Cross seventh-place finisher had a clear lead over Chelimo, who had finally managed to break away from the 19-year-old Machado while her fellow Portuguese Rocha had been caught by Spain’s steeplechase specialist Irene Sánchez-Escribano.

At the tape Cherono had increased her lead to 18 seconds on Chelimo, herself 21 seconds ahead of Machado, while Rocha finally got the better of the Spaniard over the last kilometre.

“I think today’s win has been much easier than last year’s when the circuit was really muddy,” said 23-year-old Cherono, who was fresh from a 48:15 15km performance in Nijmegen for third last Sunday.

“My next event will likely be a road race in Vienna next month but for now I’ll return to Kenya. I would like to make the Kenyan team (for the Olympics), but the standard is extremely high. I still have to decide on whether I’ll pick the 5000m or the 10,000m.”

Burundi’s Thierry Ndikumwenayo bagged the men's title. He posted 29:23 with Uganda's Thomas Ayeko second in 29:27 as Rodrigue Kwizera finished third in 29:31.