Athletics: Stars in the running for Capital event

Reigning World and European cross-country champions, Kenya's Emily Chebet and Portugal's Jessica Augusto, will be competing in a star- studded Women's International field, at the Bupa Great Edinburgh Cross-country in the New Year.

The pair will be competing against Kenya's current World 5000 metre and 10,000m gold medallists, Vivian Cheruiyot and Linet Masai, over six kilometres in Holyrood Park on Saturday, January 8.

Chebet scored a shock World Cross-country victory in March, when she let her legs do the talking in Bydgoszcz and destroyed her more fancied opponents, which included Masai and Ethiopia's top two athletes, Meselech Melkamu and Tirunesh Dibaba.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Now the 24-year-old Kenyan will be aiming to add to her accolades in the BBC televised event, the fourth venue of this winter's IAAF Cross-country Permit Series.

Augusto, after her runaway success at the European Championships, will be carrying European hopes of a victory.

It is a formidable task given the dominance of African runners who have won the event since it was first staged in the Scottish capital in 2005.

But 29-year-old Augusto had her confidence bolstered after her recent win in Albufeira, and will be determined to lift herself once more before switching her attention to the roads and making her debut in next spring's Virgin London Marathon.

"It has the makings of a classic cross-country clash and I wouldn't like to place a bet on who will win," said Peter Riley, the meeting's elite athletes' co-ordinator.

"The three Kenyans will start favourite but I'm sure Augusto will be shown the respect she deserves.

"Her competitors under- estimate her at their peril."

The Bupa Great Edinburgh Cross-country, the fourth leg of the IAAF's Permit Season 2010/2011, will be broadcast live by BBC Television and will also feature international men's 4km and International Team Challenge, which will see Great Britain and Northern Ireland Senior Men take on the United States and a European Select team over 8km.

The event is free for spectators, with all the action getting under way from 1.00pm.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"The three Kenyans will start favourite but I'm sure Augusto will be shown the respect she deserves" Peter Riley