World Athletics Cross Country Championships
World Athletics Cross Country Championships is the most important competition in international cross country running. Formerly held annually and organised by World Athletics (formerly the IAAF), it was inaugurated in 1973, when it replaced the International Cross Country Championships. It was an annual competition until 2011, when World Athletics changed it to a biennial event.
|World Athletics Cross Country Championships|
|Organised by||World Athletics|
|2019 IAAF World Cross Country Championships|
Traditionally, the World Cross Country Championships consisted of four races: one each for men (12 km) and for women (8 km); and one each for junior men (8 km) and for junior women (6 km). Scoring was done for individuals and for national teams. In the team competition, the finishing positions of the top six scorers from a team of up to nine are summed for the men and women, respectively, and the lowest score wins. For the junior races, the top three from a team of up to four are scored.
The year 1998 saw the introduction of two new events at the World Cross Country Championships, a short race for men and a short race for women. The last time these 4 km races were held was 2006, and there are no public plans to bring them back.
In an incredible show of dominance, the senior men's team race has been won by Ethiopia or Kenya every year since 1981 in both the short and long races. These nations have enjoyed a similar strangle-hold on the junior men's races since 1982. In the senior men's 12 km race, Kenya won the world championships for an astounding 18 years in a row, from 1986 through 2003, a record of unequaled international success. Likewise on the women's side, only one other nation has won the long team race since 1991: Portugal, in 1994. These African nations were not quite so dominant in the short races, but they have won every women's junior race since its introduction in 1989.
Several athletes have won two or more individual titles: Craig Virgin, who is the only American to ever win at World Cross Country Championships, which he did twice; Carlos Lopes, the first man to win three times (although Jack Holden won the International Cross Country Championships four times between 1933 and 1939, Gaston Roelants between 1962 and 1972); John Ngugi, the first man to win five times; Paul Tergat, the first man to win five times in a row; Kenenisa Bekele, the only man to win both the short and long courses in the same year, which he did five years in a row, and whose win in 2008 gave him six long course championships, the most of anyone in history; Sonia O'Sullivan, first athlete ever to win both the long and short course double in the same year; Grete Waitz, the first woman to win five times (although Doris Brown Heritage won the International Cross Country Championships five times between 1967 and 1971); Lynn Jennings, who won three times; Derartu Tulu, who won three times; Tirunesh Dibaba, who won three times in the long course and once in the short course; Gete Wami, who won twice at the long course and once at the short; and Edith Masai, who won the short race three times. Tirunesh Dibaba was also once the junior women's champion.
Many consider the World Cross Country Championships to be the most difficult races to win, even more difficult than the Olympic Games. At most major championships, the world's best distance runners are separated into a few races, i.e. 3000 m Steeplechase, 5000 m, and 10,000 m. However, in the absence of the short course races, the World Cross Country Championships pit all runners against one another in only one race. Thus, the competition is quite fierce. It's no wonder, then, that several Olympic Champions have gotten their start as World Cross Country Champions: Carlos Lopes, marathon, 1984; John Ngugi, 5000 m, 1988; Khalid Skah, 10,000 m, 1992; and Kenenisa Bekele, 10,000 m, 2004 and 2008. Numerous other champions have medalled at the Olympic Games or the World Championships, or have set World Records.
|Edition||Year||City||Country||Date||Venue||No. of |
|1st||1973||Waregem||Belgium||March 17||Hippodroom Waregem||21||286|
|2nd||1974||Monza||Italy||March 16||Mirabello Racecourse||23||269|
|3rd||1975||Rabat||Morocco||March 16||Souissi Racecourse||26||316|
|4th||1976||Chepstow||United Kingdom||February 28||Chepstow Racecourse||21||306|
|5th||1977||Düsseldorf||West Germany||March 20||Galopprennbahn Düsseldorf-Grafenberg||22||345|
|6th||1978||Glasgow||United Kingdom||March 25||Bellahouston Park||27||358|
|7th||1979||Limerick||Ireland||March 25||Greenpark Racecourse||27||383|
|8th||1980||Paris||France||March 9||Hippodrome de Longchamp||28||381|
|9th||1981||Madrid||Spain||March 28||Hipódromo de la Zarzuela||39||460|
|10th||1982||Rome||Italy||March 21||Ippodromo delle Capannelle||33||382|
|11th||1983||Gateshead||United Kingdom||March 20||Riverside Park||35||431|
|12th||1984||East Rutherford||United States||March 25||Meadowlands Racetrack||40||443|
|13th||1985||Lisbon||Portugal||March 24||Sports Complex of Jamor||50||570|
|14th||1986||Colombier||Switzerland||March 23||Planeyse Colombier||57||670|
|15th||1987||Warsaw||Poland||March 22||Służewiec Racecourse||47||576|
|16th||1988||Auckland||New Zealand||March 26||Ellerslie Racecourse||41||441|
|17th||1989||Stavanger||Norway||March 19||Scanvest Ring||41||568|
|18th||1990||Aix-les-Bains||France||March 25||Hippodrome de Marlioz||59||617|
|19th||1991||Antwerp||Belgium||March 24||Linkeroever Racecourse||51||633|
|20th||1992||Boston||United States||March 21||Franklin Park||53||580|
|21st||1993||Amorebieta||Spain||March 28||Jaureguibarría Course||54||653|
|22nd||1994||Budapest||Hungary||March 26||Kincsem Park||60||760|
|23rd||1995||Durham||United Kingdom||March 25||University of Durham||58||619|
|24th||1996||Stellenbosch||South Africa||March 23||Danie Craven Stadium||65||669|
|25th||1997||Torino||Italy||March 23||Parco del Valentino||72||725|
|26th||1998||Marrakech||Morocco||March 21/22||Menara district||66||707|
|27th||1999||Belfast||United Kingdom||March 27/28||Barnett Demesne||66||759|
|28th||2000||Vilamoura||Portugal||March 18/19||Sporting Complex of Vilamoura||76||805|
|29th||2001||Ostend||Belgium||March 24/25||Hippodrome Wellington||67||790|
|30th||2002||Dublin||Ireland||March 23/24||Leopardstown Racecourse||59||664|
|31st||2003||Lausanne||Switzerland||March 29/30||L'Institut Équestre National d'Avenches||65||605|
|32nd||2004||Brussels||Belgium||March 20/21||Ossegem Park||72||673|
|33rd||2005||Saint-Galmier||France||March 19/20||Hippodrome Joseph Desjoyaux||72||695|
|34th||2006||Fukuoka||Japan||April 1/2||Umi-no-nakamichi Seaside Park||59||574|
|35th||2007||Mombasa||Kenya||March 24||Mombasa Golf Course||63||470|
|36th||2008||Edinburgh||United Kingdom||March 30||Holyrood Park||23||448|
|37th||2009||Amman||Jordan||March 28||Al Bisharat Golf Course||57||459|
|38th||2010||Bydgoszcz||Poland||March 28||Myślęcinek Park||59||437|
|39th||2011||Punta Umbría||Spain||March 20||Polideportivo Antonio Gil Hernández||51||423|
|40th||2013||Bydgoszcz||Poland||March 24||Myślęcinek Park||41||398|
|41st||2015||Guiyang||China||March 28||Guiyang horse racing circuit||51||410|
|42nd||2017||Kampala||Uganda||March 26||Kololo Independence Grounds||60||557|
|43rd||2019||Aarhus||Denmark||March 30||Moesgaard Museum|
As in other areas of the sport, athletes at the competition are prohibited from doping and tests are undertaken before and at the championships to ensure athletes obey the regulations. A total of fourteen doping violations have occurred at the World Cross Country Championships, with the first violation coming from Cosmas Ndeti who was the original runner-up at the 1988 junior men's race; he remains the only athlete stripped of a medal for doping. Seven doping violations have come from Moroccan athletes, with Portuguese athletes accounting for a further three. The 2010 and 2011 editions had the highest number of doping violations, with totals of four and five, respectively. The senior men's long race has produced the highest number of violations, with eight in total.
|1988||Cosmas Ndeti||Kenya||Junior men||2nd|
|2002||Hamid El Mouaziz||Morocco||Men's long||44th|
|2006||Yuliya Mochalova||Russia||Junior women||24th|
|2011||Najim El Gady||Morocco||Men's||DNF|
Senior Men's Individual Medals
Senior Men's Team Medals
Senior Women's Individual Medals
Senior Women's Team Medals
Men's Short Race Individual Medals
Men's Short Race Team Medals
Women's Short Race Individual Medals
Women's Short Race Team Medals
Junior Men's Individual Medals
Junior Men's Team Medals
Junior Women's Individual Medals
Junior Women's Team Medals
- 47th IAAF Congress – Day 1. IAAF (2009-08-12). Retrieved on 2009-08-14.
- Competitions Update. IAAF. Retrieved on 2016-08-21.
- 2017 IAAF World Cross Country Championships Facts and Figures. World Athletics. Retrieved 2020-03-21.