Brenda Chebet Champions Kenya to gold in Bathurst’s mixed relay.

The Kenyan quartet of Emmanuel Wanyonyi, Mirriam Cherop, Daniel Kyumbe Munguti, and Brenda Chebet reclaimed the mixed relay title at the World Athletics Cross Country Championships Bathurst 23.

It wasn’t easy, though, with South Africa and Australia both fighting hard on the first three legs. Meanwhile, archrival Ethiopia finished second to Kenya, with host nation Australia taking home a well-deserved bronze medal.

The majority of attention was focused on Australia’s Commonwealth 1500m champion Ollie Hoare, Kenya’s 2021 world U20 800m champion Wanyonyi, and Ethiopia’s African 1500m bronze medalist Adihana Kasaye. However, as athletes approached the vineyard section of the course, South African Commonwealth finalist Ryan Mphahlele led the pack.

Wanyonyi then came back and took the lead from Mphahlele, but the South African had saved enough for a final burst and finished the first stage in first place. Hoare finished third, six seconds behind the first two teams, with Kasaye a further second back.

At the beginning of the second leg, Kenya’s 2016 African U20 cross-country champion Mirriam Cherop established a comfortable lead while 800m specialist Prudence Sekgodiso made every effort to maintain a close distance. Jess Hull, the Australian 1500m record holder, quickly took over the race, though.

The Olympic and global finalist bided her time during the early portion of the leg before squaring off against Sekgodiso and pursuing Cherop during the last few seconds. During the last downhill stretch, Hull passed the Kenyan. She then turned the corner and increased her lead into the zigzag tire zone.

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