Japan Rules 18th World University Cross Country Championship in Poland
Japan was the outstanding performer at the 18th World University Cross Country Championships by winning both male and female team titles. This was in addition to the silver and bronze medals won in the individual male competition.
Race day started with the women’s individual race with 61 competitors from 16 countries at the start line. The race was lead from the gun by the eventual winner, Ancuta Bobocel (Romania) that finished the 3-lap course in 00:15:48. Silver medal was won by Carla Salomé Rocha (Portugal) with 00:15:54 and third place went to Roxana Birca (Romania) with a finishing time of 00:15:56.
The 5-lap course of the men’s individual race followed, with 76 athletes from 22 countries starting. The gold medal went to Abdelmajed Touil (Algeria) who clocked a winning time of 00:29:11. Silver and bronze went to Yuta Shitara and Daichi Motomura (Japan) with 00:29:15 and 00:29:22 respectively.
The team competitions were equally exciting with many changes occurring throughout the courses. In the end, one team had its regularity awarded – team Japan won both men and women team competitions.
In the women’s competition, Japan (21) beat Romania (23) to the gold medal by 2 points! The winning team was made up by Mutsumi Ikeda, Ayuko Suzuki, Toshika Tamura, Ayame Takaki and Azusa Kurusu. The bronze team title went to Poland (46), with 13 teams classifying.
The men’s competition saw the Japanese athletes lead from start to finish. Japan won the gold medal (36 points), followed by Ukraine (57) and Algeria (61). Overall, 11 teams classified. The World University Cross Country Championships male team was made up by Yuta Shitara, Daichi Motomura, Kazuhiro Kuga, Hiroshi Ichida and Masaya Taguchi.
Overall, 60 female and 70 male runners from 23 countries competed in this 18th edition of the WUC Cross Country.
The races were followed in the evening by the team medal ceremonies and also the closing dinner. Final remarks were briefly delivered by the President of the Organizing Committee and by FISU Executive Committee member Omar Al-Hai who thanked the participants for their outstanding efforts and thanked Organizing Committee and volunteers in their dedication and commitment in preparing and delivering the event in such a successful manner. A farewell party was organized by the local Organizing Committee for all participants to relax a bit before their travels back home.
Complete results can be downloaded from the FISU website at http://www.fisu.net/en/Cross-Country-2012-2751.html