Margaret Chelimo cruised to victory at the Cross Internacional de Itálica in Santiponce, near the Spanish city of Seville over the weekend.
Chelimo clocked 28:37, while world U-20 cross-country champion Beatrice Chebet ( 28:49) was second in the sixth leg of this season’s World Athletics Cross Country Permit series.
Ethiopia’s Tsehay Gemechu placed third in 29:00 while world cross country champion Helen Obiri closed the top four places in 29:27 ahead of Eva Cherono, who placed fifth in 29:41
Chebet did most of the early pacing duties while Bahrain’s 2017 world marathon champion Rose Chelimo was never a factor, and was way behind the leaders from the second kilometre.
By the halfway mark, Chebet led with Obiri, Chelimo and Gemechu tucked behind her. Just before the sixth kilometre, Obiri seemed to be in trouble as she was five metres adrift of the leading three.
Shortly afterwards, her chances of a podium finish appeared to disappear completely, much to the surprise of the crowd.
About 300 metres before the bell, Chelimo put in a surge and quickly built a sizable margin on Chebet, Gemechu and Obiri, who ran in single file behind the world silver medallist.
Over the final circuit, a dominant Chelimo increased her advantage over her opponents, with Obiri slowing down her pace considerably.
In the men’s category Richard Yator was the highest placed Kenyan in third place in 27:48. The race was won by Ethiopia’s Tadese Worku in 27:31, with USA’s Paul Chelimo second in 27:47.