Johnson second in sprint finish - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Johnson second in sprint finish

By Bill Melville 16/01/2005 06:26:37 AM Comments (0)

There was double disappointment for Australia at Edinburgh International Cross-Country as world champion Benita Johnson was beaten into second in a sprint for the line and Craig Mottram finished ninth in the men's race.

Johnson sat in the pack aiming to break with 2km to go in the 6km women's race.

Heading for the infamous steep climb over Haggis Knowe for the penultimate time she took the lead from three Ethiopians and held it for most of the remaining lap.

Coming off the hill for the last time, World 5000m champion Tirunesh Dibaba made to pass, Johnson upped the pace and a shoulder to shoulder uphill sprint developed over the final 100m.

This time out the Ethiopian proved the winner, crossing the line in 21m 35s while Johnson took 2nd in 21:36.

Johnson, who will run the London Marathon just weeks after defending her world cross title in March, admitted the outcome was disappointing.

"I came here to win," she said.

"She was just slightly stronger than me at the finish.

"I'm not at the level I need for the World Cross Country Championships, I've got two more months training to go."

Kenya's Olympic 5000m bronze medalist Eliud Kipchoge set an awesome pace from the start of the men's six lap 9km race over a testing course in Edinburgh's Holyrood Park.

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