Finnish runner Pekka Paivarinta sprinted to victory in the final stages of the International Cross Country Championship held at Waregem, in Belgium, on Saturday (17 March).
GTV Start of race
SV TV camera
LV Runners past flag
LV Runners round hair-pin bend
SV No.43 Paivarinta leads No. 30 Cusak(Irish Republic)
SV PAN Runners over stream & into field
SV Crowd PAN No.166 Haro Sisneros & No 43
SV Finish of race Paivarinta beats Sisneros
SV No.116 Dixon crosses line
SV Paivarinta receives medal & waves to crowd
SV King congratulates Paivarinta
Initials SGM/0522 SGM/0511
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Background: Finnish runner Pekka Paivarinta sprinted to victory in the final stages of the International Cross Country Championship held at Waregem, in Belgium, on Saturday (17 March).
Paivarinta, aged 24, ran fourth last year, and was given only an outside chance in the event. He fought out the lead with Spaniard Mariano Haro Sisneros throughout the 7 1/2-mile (12 kms) race.
Haro was 30 yards ahead in the last lap, but Paivarinta caught him with a burst of speed which Haro could not match.
the Finn's time for the event was 35 minutes 46.4 seconds.
New Zealander Rod Dixon, the Olympic 1,500 metres bronze medallist, ran a steady race to take third place. Fourth was another Finn, Olympic 3,000 metres steeplechase bronze medallist Tapio Kantanen.
A total of 150 competitors form 20 nations took part in the senior race, run in bright but chilly conditions.
King Baudouin later congratulated Paivarinta on his success.
SYNOPSIS: In the Flemish town of Waregem, in Belgium, the start of the International Cross Country Championship at the weekend....which attracted 150 competitors from twenty nations.
The well-patronised event, over a distance of 12 kilometres, was run in bright but chilly conditions, on the town's horse-race track. Leading at this stage of the race was Finland's Pekka Paivarinta, the twenty-four-year-old runner who came fourth last year. He had been given only an outside chance of being placed in the event this year.
Paivarinta swapped the lead throughout the race with Spain's Mariano Haro Sisneros.
Haro Sisneros was thirty metres ahead in the last lap, but Paivarinta caught him with a burst of speed which the Spaniard could not match. Third was New Zealand Olympic 1,500 metres bronze medallist Rod Dixon.
Paivarinta, whose time was thirty-five minutes 46-point-four seconds for the event, received the winner's medal.
He was congratulated on his success by Belgium's King Baudouin.