USA dominate medals at Cross Country in San Diego 2022

After two days of rigorous competition, the 2022 Virtus World Cross Country Championship concluded on Sunday in San Diego, USA. Both long-course and short-course races were offered to the athletes to compete in. Paralympians like Michael Brannigan, Gael Geofrey and Breanna Clark made their way to the championship.

The championship turned out to be of huge success for the host nation, claiming five out of the eight golds from the championship and topping the medal tally.

Winners of Men’s II1 long and short course race. (From left) Adam Angalone, Michael Brannigan and Gael Geoffrey. Picture Credit- Bob Bettancourt

In the II1 category, Paralympian Michael Brannigan (USA) became the host nation’s superstar by winning three golds in 8K long course, 4k short course and overall Men’s team event alongside team mates Adam Angelone, Benjamin Bluemond, Tyler Wingington, Tae Sebastian, Kenneth Noguchi and Ishaan Ramanathan Eye.

Although Spain came second in the Men’s 4K teams event, the team defeated the host nation in the long course 8K event adding gold to their medal tally. The team consist of Adrián Parras Álvarez, Jose Martínez Moron, Raúl Martínez Garri, Ibai Magdaleno Pala and Jesús Fernández Pére.

Gael Geoffrey from France, who competed in 1500m at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, finished third in both the long course and short course. He was also part of the French team who won the bronze in the Men’s team event.

Winners for II1 Women’s long and short course race. (From left) Franziska Dziallas (GER), Kaitlyn Bounds (USA) and Aleksandra Gustaffson (SWE). Picture credit- Bob Bettancourt

In the Women’s short course race, Kaitlyn Bounds from the host nation won the gold (7:34sec) by defeating Franziska Dziallas from Germany (7:51sec). Sweden’s Aleksandra Gustaffson settled for the bronze. The podium finish was repeated by the American, German and Swedish runners in the exact same sequence in the long course.

Two-time Paralympic Champion in 400m Breanna Clark who tried her luck in Cross country for the first time finished fourth in the short course race.

Jason David from France. Picture credit- Bob Bettancourt

In the Men’s II2 category, Jason David from France became the first athlete ever to participate in a cross-country competition. He was the sole participant in both short and long-course events in the men’s category in II2.

Full results are available here.