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ATHLETICS: Ben's Whit to triumph.

BEN WHITBY narrowly held off a late challenge to win at the View From Great North Cross Country in Newcastle yesterday.

The Hounslow athlete just held off Belgium's Ridouane Es-Saadi to edge a thrilling finish in the International 4km race.

Whitby, a two-times AAA steeplechase champion until switching to longer distances last year, seemed to have the race sewn up with 400 metres left but sneaked home by just a second in 11mins 36secs.

World 5,000m champion Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia pulled ahead of Turkey's Elvan Abeylegesse to land the 6.3km race in 21 mins one second.

Top British finisher was world 1500m finalist Jo Pavey finished sixth - a creditable display against an awesome field.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Jan 4, 2004
Words:117
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