2024 World XC Championships Recap: Beatrice Chebet Leads Kenyan Sweep, Jacob Kiplimo Repeats

By Chris Chavez

April 1, 2024

Kenya’s Beatrice Chebet and Uganda’s Jacob Kiplimo successfully defended their World Cross Country Titles on Saturday in Belgrade, Serbia. Kenya came away with the men’s and women’s gold medals as a team.

Here’s what you need to know:

Women’s Senior Race

– The Kenyan women’s team was considered a powerhouse that would be tough to beat and it proved to be true as they finished 1-2-3-4-5. The Kenyan top five were all alone by the third lap of the five-loop course. Chebet ended up pulling away from World Road Running Championship 5K silver medalist Lilian Rengeruk to win in 31:05 to 31:08. Margaret Kipkemboi took bronze in 31:09.

– Ethiopia, led by Bertukan Welde in eighth place, went 8-10-11-12 to earn silver as a team with a 41-point total. Uganda put Sarah Chelangat (6th place) and Loice Chekwemoi (9th) in the top 10 and took home bronze as team with a 44-point total.

– The American contingent of Weini Kelati (15th), Allie Ostrander (30th), Abby Nichols (33rd), Emma Grace Hurley (35th) posted 113 points for fourth.

Weini Kelati-Frezgh finishing 15th at the World Cross Country Championships 2024. Weini Kelati-Frezgh finishing 15th at the World Cross Country Championships 2024.

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– Chebet is now a three-time world champion with her road 5K, 2023 world cross country and 2024 world cross country individual titles. She has yet to win gold on the track. She was the 5000m silver medalist in 2022 and bronze medalist last year. While she may be overlooked by the likes of Faith Kipyegon in the 5000m, she closed out last year’s race season with a 14:05.92 personal best of 5000m, which puts her at No. 3 on the all-time list.

Men’s Senior Race

– With less than a mile remaining in the race, Jacob Kiplimo repeated his race plan that won him gold in Bathurst, Australia and dropped the field before crossing the finish line in 28:07. Berihu Aregawi, who was runner-up in Bathurst, came away with another silver in 28:12. Kenya’s Benson Kiplangat earned his first senior global medal with a third place finish for bronze in 28:14.

– Kenya repeated as team champions with Kiplangat, Nicholas Kipkorir (4th), Samwel Chebolei Masai (5th) and Sebastian Kimaru Sawe (7th) totaling 19 points.

Kenya repeats as the Men's World Cross County Team Champions in 2024.Kenya repeats as the Men's World Cross County Team Champions in 2024.

Justin Britton/@justinbritton

– Uganda took silver again with Kiplimo, Joshua Cheptegei (6th), Dan Kibet )11) and Hosea Kiplangat (13th) totaling 31 points. Ethiopia finished third for bronze with 40 points.

– The United States finished seventh as a team. Anthony Rotich was the top American in 22nd place.

– Kiplimo is the first man to win back-to-back titles since Geoffrey Kamworor in 2015 and 2017.

Jacob Kipmio wins back-to-back Men's World Athletics Cross Country Championships.Jacob Kipmio wins back-to-back Men's World Athletics Cross Country Championships.

Justin Britton/@justinbritton

Other results:

– Kenya repeated as the mixed relay champions.

– The star of the U20 women’s race was Ethiopia’s Marta Alemayo, who dominated in 19:28 to lead an Ethiopian sweep of the individual medals and the team title with a 12-point total.

– Samuel Kibathi won the individual U20 men’s title in 22:40 for the 8K course.

What’s next?

The next edition of the World Cross Country Championships will take place in Tallahassee, Florida in January 2026 at Apalachee Regional Park.

Chris Chavez

Chris Chavez launched CITIUS MAG in 2016 as a passion project while working full-time for Sports Illustrated. He covered the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and grew his humble blog into a multi-pronged media company. He completed all six World Marathon Majors and is an aspiring sub-five-minute miler.