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Liz fifth as Kenyans dominate

OUT of Africa there is always something new -- invariably fast, often vengeful, and yesterday it was usually Kenyan.

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The master race of distance running enjoyed their most complete domination yet of the World Cross-Country Championships, winning three of the four individual crowns, nine of a possible 12 medals, and all four team titles.

Only the women's gold escaped the dark destroyers. Albertina Dias of Portugal topped the dais, winning the only real race of the day -- the others were a procession -- and neither a resurrected Zola Budd-Pieterse, nor a disappointed Liz McColgan, could stop her.

For four minutes South Africa's two-time former champion was in front, but in mid-race, defying medical advice, Pieterse, who has a foot imbalance, kicked off her shoes, finishing barefoot. The loss of traction possibly cost her bronze, as she was overtaken in a sprint to the line by defending champion Lynn Jennings of the USA.

Ireland's Catherina McKiernan, from Cornafean in County Cavan, led briefly before finishing nine seconds behind Dias, runner-up for the second successive year, but again collecting $10,000 for topping the World Cross series.

The Olympic 10,000 metres champion, Derartu Tulu, dropped out, nursing a knee injury, but McColgan enjoyed some measure of revenge by darting past one-time leader Elana Meyer, the Barcelona runner-up.

Scotland's world champion at 10,000m and half marathon, McColgan, made insufficient concessions to the demands of this discipline, but her honourable fifth was the best UK performance, and she remains bullishly confident for the London Marathon on April 18.

She was languishing twenty-fifth after 1000m (3-00) as Budd-Pieterse, whom she had never raced before, hit the front. ''I thought they'd come back, but I didn't work hard enough to close on the second lap. But I have great strength, and am not the least despondent about the marathon.''

Scotland's only other member in the party, Glasgow University's 21-year-old World Student Games runner-up, Vikki McPherson, who ran outstandingly to finish thirty-eighth, 24 places better than last year and third counter in the British team which placed seventh, the same as the men.

The course, turf as trim and less undulating than the fairways of Gleneagles, rose less than 10 feet, suiting few Britons. The Kenyan men filled the first five places, two of them running on either side of Moroccan Khalid Skah.

Skah, controversial Olympic 10,000m winner when a compatriot harassed Kenya's Richard Chelimo last summer, finished sixth after Chelimo's full brother, Ismail Karui, had helped set a sacrificial pace to destroy the pursuit.

Ismail then surrendered, as planned, to the finishing thrust of William Sigei, who said pointedly: ''This takes revenge for Barcelona.'' Results:

Senior men (11,750m) -- 1, W Sigei (Ken) 32min. 51sec.; 2, D Kirui (Ken) 32-56; 3, I Kirui (Ken) 32-59; 4, M Tanui (Ken) 33-14; 5, E Bitok (Ken) 33-21; 6, K Skah (Mor) 33-22; 7, H Gebreselasie (Eth) 33-23; 8, A Abebe (Eth) 33-29; 9, W Bikila (Eth) 33-31; 10, P Tergat (Ken) 33-35; 32, A Pearson (GB)

34-18; 34, E Martin (GB) 34-19; 45, S Tunstall (GB) 34-34; 69, A Bristow (GB) 34-54; 71, J Brown (GB) 34-55; 102, P Roden (GB) 35-20; 111, D Clarke (GB) 35-28; 133, D Mead (GB) 35-49; 170, P Dugdale (GB) 36-29.

Team -- 1, Kenya 25pts; 2, Ethiopia 82; 3, Portugal 167; 7, Great Britain 353; 19, Ireland 854.

Senior women (6350m) -- 1, A Dias (Por) 20min. 00sec.; 2, C McKiernan (Ire) 20-09; 3, L Jennings (USA) 20-09; 4, Z Pieterse (SA) 20-10; 5, L McColgan (GB) 20-17; 6, E Meyer (SA) 20-18; 7, P Konga (Ken) 20-19; 8, F Fates (Fra) 20-20; 9, I Negura (Rom) 20-20; 10, K Kanbayashi (Jap) 20-23. Also -- 18, P Radcliffe (GB) 20-34; 38, V McPherson (GB) 21-01; 63, S Rigg (GB) 21-21; 92, A Wyeth (GB) 21-44; 110, A Whitcombe (GB) 22-05.

Team -- 1, Kenya 52pts; 2, Japan 93; 3, France 100; 7, GB 124; 12, Ireland 177.

Junior men (7150m) -- 1, P Mosima (Ken) 20-18; 2, C Kosgei (Ken) 20-20; 3, J Machuka (Ken) 20-23; 4, L Nyakeraka (Ken) 20-23; 5, T Abebe (Eth) 20-28; 6, H Jifar (Eth) 20-50. Also -- 28, C Stephenson (GB) 21-42; 34, D Burrows (GB) 21-45; 63, M Steinle (GB) 22-07; 81, M Griffiths (GB) 22-26; 94, R Lynham (GB) 22-35; 101, B Sutton (GB)

22-40.

Team -- 1, Kenya 10pts; 2, Ethiopia 27; 3, Morocco 76; 11, GB 206; 22, Ireland 409.

Junior women (4450m) -- 1, G Ondeyo (Ken) 14-04; 2, P Chepchumba (Ken) 14-09; 3, S Barsosio (Ken) 14-11; 4, H Mutai (Ken) 14-14; 5, S Power (Aus) 14-18; 6, C Kirui (Ken) 14-29. Also -- 29, S Murphy (GB)

15-18; 33, N Slater (GB) 15-22; 50, J MacKay (GB) 15-39; 52, C O'Connor (GB) 15-41; 53, M Matthews (GB) 15-42; 76, J Mitchell (GB) 16-03.

Team -- 1, Kenya 10pts; 2, Japan 41; 3, Ethiopia 61; 9, GB 164.

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