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Dathan Ritzenhein Poised For An American Distance Revival
Submitted by Bricks :: Tue Mar 15, 2005 9:30 am
Distance runner Dathan Ritzenhein appears ready to do what no American runner in 25 years has done, contend for a medal at Sunday's world cross-country championships. The last American victory at the event was in 1981, and since then the field has become dominated by strong African runners, especially Kenyans, with Americans having second-tier status. The last top-10 finish by an American at the world championships came in 1987. But the impressive Ritzenhein surprised everyone by winning against a strong international field at the Belfast International Cross Country Run on January 8. He also claimed the US 12km cross-country title on February 13. On Sunday he'll face a field as tough as they come, including world 10,000 meter record holder Kenenisa Bekele, who will be trying for his fourth straight victory.