18 Dec

Strong Field Set For International X-Country

Kenenisa Bekele

Olympic world record holder Kenenisa Bekele has confirmed he will take part in this year's Great Edinburgh International Cross Country race in Holyrood Park on January 7. Bekele will form what promises to be a strong line-up for the event, with fellow Beijing gold medallists Asbel Kiprop and Brimin Kipruto also taking part.

The trio will all compete in the 3km competition, with Bekele looking to secure his fourth victory in the Scottish capital after a two year absence. In his last appearance, the Ethiopian runner suffered defeat and hopes this year's race can form the basis of a successful year.

Bekele commented: "I feel very comfortable starting my important Olympic year by competing in Edinburgh." He added, "Because of all the wonderful cross country races I ran there and of course the memories of becoming World Champion, it feels like coming home to race in Edinburgh against the best in the world"

The event will also host an International Team Challenge between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the U.S. and a European Select side for all age groups. The British team includes twenty of the athletes who were successful at the European Cross-Country Championships in Slovenia on Sunday (December 11.)

Regarded as one of the best cross-country events, this year's race will provide an opportunity to see Olympic hopefuls compete prior to London 2012. The competition will be televised live on BBC1 on January 7.