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Belfast, UK - World Marathon record-holder Paul Tergat returned to the city
that witnessed the last of his five world cross country victories, running a
controlled race to win the - IAAF permit - Belfast International today.
Tergat didn’t hit the front until the closing stages but always seemed
in command in his final cross country race of the winter. Having abandoned
plans to chase a record sixth World cross title, Tergat was looking to return
to winning ways in Belfast before returning to his marathon preparations at a
Kenyan training camp.
He sat in throughout as a large leading group stayed intact for the first
three of five laps, Italian Umberto Pusterla prominent as were the leading
British athletes but it was always the Africans who were expected to control
matters when things got serious.
Early into the fourth lap World Half Marathon silver medallist Fabian Joseph
of Tanzania began to push the pace, and a trio of Kenyan stars went with him,
with Pusterla remaining the best of the Europeans.
Joseph continued to set the pace on the final circuit but Tergat always
looked strong and when it came down to the final straight there was only going
to be one winner. Tergat eased his way past last year’s fourth placer and
his victory was more convincing than the one second margin suggests.