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Exceptional fields expected for Great Edinburgh International Cross Country

Exceptional fields expected for Great Edinburgh International Cross Country

The 2010 European cross country season will begin with a flourish on Saturday when exceptional fields line-up for the Great Edinburgh International Cross Country in Holyrood Park, site of the 2008 IAAF World Cross Country Championships.

Four-time world 10,000m champion, Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia, will lead the men's field, but with reigning IAAF World Cross Country champion Gebre Gebremariam also in the field, victory for Bekele isn't assured (Bekele last won this event in 2007). Also expected to contend for the title over the hilly, 9.3 km course, will be two-time Olympic medallist Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya, and the 2002 world junior 10,000m champion Michael Kipyego.

The women's 6 km race will feature the Beijing Olympic 5000m and 10,000m champion, Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia. Her key challengers will be Kenya's Vivian Cheruiyot, last year's 5000m world champion, and Britain's Hayley Yelling-Higham and Lisa Dobriskey. Yelling-Higham won last month's European Cross Country Championships, and Dobriskey was last summer's world championships silver medallist at 1500m.

British men will have a race of their own in Edinburgh. Racing over a 4 km course, Britain's top 5000m man, Mo Farah, will face that nation's top miler, Andy Baddeley. Farah was last year's European indoor 3000m champion, and Baddeley won last year's Continental Airlines Fifth Avenue Mile.

Saturday's event is organized by Nova International, which stages "Great Run" events throughout Britain, including the Great North Run half-marathon in September

By David Monti (c) 2010 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved; Used with permission