- Kampala to host the biggest IAAF Cross Country Championship.
- It has attracted the largest numbers since 1996.
Kampala City is set to host the biggest International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF)cross country Championship on Sunday 25th March 2017; the biggest since 1996. With 3 days to go until the biggest event this decade, final entry figures suggest it will be the biggest edition of the championships since 2006.
An expected 557 athletes from 60 teams are set to compete in the Ugandan capital on 26 March, surpassing the figures from the past six editions. Those figures include the four athletes who are set to represent an Athlete Refugee Team in the mixed relay. Guided by team leader Tegla Loroupe, the squad includes Olympian Paulo Amotun Lokoro, who was part of the Refugee Olympic Team in Rio last summer.
In total, 13 nations are set to contest the mixed relay, the latest innovation for the oldest IAAF World Athletics Series event. Each team comprises two men and two women, who will each run a two-kilometre circuit. The IAAF Cross Country Permit series, spread across seven meetings from November 2016 to February 2017, has whetted the appetite for the forthcoming championships and many of the top performers on the circuit are set to compete in Kampala.
The names that will grace the tournament.
Aweke Ayalew, winner of the men’s races in Burgos and Seville, will be aiming to win Bahrain’s first individual medal at the World Cross, having earned a team bronze medal in 2015.Senbere Teferei, also a winner in Burgos and Seville, will be joined on the Ethiopian team by Muktar Edris, winner of the Campaccio meeting earlier this year. Teenager Selemon Barega, who triumphed at the Cinque Mulini meeting at the end of January, is Ethiopia’s leading hope of a medal in the U20 men’s race.
Uganda’s Timothy Toroitich, who won convincingly in Alcobendas last November, will captain the host nation’s team, while Almond Blossom winner Irene Cheptai forms part of a strong Kenyan senior women’s squad.European indoor 3000m champion Adel Mechaal leads the senior men’s team while fellow national cross-country champion Trihas Gebre leads the senior women’s team and will be aiming to improve on her 15th-place finish from 2015.
Adrian Ben and Lucia Rodriguez, Spain’s top finishers in the junior races at the 2016 European Cross Country Championships, feature on the U20 teams, while European under-23 1500m champion Marc Alcala is part of the mixed relay team.
Timothy Toroitich will be captaining the host nation’s squad at the Ugandan Athletics Federation announced.The experienced Toroitich, a four-time World Cross Country Championships national team member, finished fifth in the event in 2013, and more recently was eighth in the 10,000m at the IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015. some of the sponsors include, SEIKO, MTN and Oasics.