Hannut and Elgoibar the penultimate European Athletics Cross Country Permit Races
|Fionnuala Britton of Ireland won the Antrim
International Cross Country meet in Northern Ireland
There was a Kenyan double in Hannut as the teenager Conseslus Kipruto, the 2011 World Youth Championships 2000m steeplechase gold medallist, added to his growing reputation when he won the men's 10.5km race in 31:22.
Belgium's 2011 SPAR European Cross Country Championships winner Atelaw Bekele, who also won at the same venue 12 months ago, was the leading European home but could do no better than finish fifth in 32:38, after getting detached from the leaders early in the race.
Kenya's Valentina Kipketer won the women's 6km in 21:17 with the well-known Belgian runner Veerle Dejaeghere being the first European home in fifth place in 22:02.
Kenya's Paul Tanui won over 10.796km in Spain, crossing the line in 32:25. Spain's Javier Guerra - sixth at the SPAR European Cross Country Championships last month - the first European home in fifth place, stopping the clock in 33:29. However, the local runner captured several notable scalps in a high quality international race including that of Kenya's 10km road world record holder Leonard Komon, who was one place behind him.
Ethiopia's Wude Ayalew won the women's 6.624km race in Elgoibar in 22:29 with Portugal's Leonor Carneiro finishing the first European home in fifth place in 23:18.
The last of this winter's nine European Athletics Cross Country Permit Races will be the White Cross Cross Country in the Serbian capital Belgrade, the venue for the 2013 SPAR European Cross Country Championships, next Sunday.
The was also a victory for Ireland's 2011 SPAR European Cross Country Championships gold medallist Fionnuala Britton at the Antrim International Cross Country (an IAAF permit race) just across the border in Northern Ireland on Saturday.
Britton got her third win in her last four outings this winter with a close victory ahead of Great Britain's Gemma Steel, who was third behind her in the Slovenian city of Velenje last month. On a muddy course over 5.6km she beat Steel by seven seconds to cross the line in a time of 19:32.
Kenya's Mike Kigen scored his third successive victory in the men's 10.8km, this year winning in 34:48.