By John Kwoba NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya and Ethiopia will have no love lost as the
two countries parade their best stars in Kampala, Uganda on
Sunday for the World Cross Country Championships.
Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has confirmed that a
total of 557 runners from 59 countries and regions as well as
one refugee team, which had been training in Nairobi, will
compete in the biannual event. The World Cross Country
Championships is the oldest event in the IAAF history and will
bring athletes as far as from Australia, United States, England,
Canada and Poland.
Apart from Kenya and
Ethiopia, who are the two most decorated countries in the
history of the event, host Uganda, Eritrea, Japan, Qatar,
Bahrain and United States may cause upsets with their athletes
claiming the medals.
In a statement, IAAF
said, the final entries will be confirmed on Saturday, as per
the competition rules.
“The course is
located at Kololo Independence Grounds, approximately three
kilometers from Kampala city center. It hosted the 2014 African
Cross Country Championships, and more recently, the Ugandan
Cross Country Championships in January.
loop is mostly covered in grass. In addition to the two natural
hills and a man-made hill, a ditch and other obstacles have been
added to make the course more challenging,” read the statement.
The junior women’s
race (U20) is made up of three laps, while the junior men’s will
be held over four laps. Both of the senior races comprise five
laps. Runners in the mixed relay will complete one lap each for
a total of four laps per team.
This year’s event
will mark the 42nd staging of the global cross
country championships. It will also be the fifth time the
championships will be hosted in Africa after Rabat in 1975,
Johannesburg in 1996, Marrakech in 1998 and Mombasa in 2007.
A total of 310,000
U.S. dollars in prize money will be awarded to the leading
runners in the senior races. Winners of the individual men’s and
women’s races will each earn 30,000 dollars, with money paid out
to the top six finishers.
In total, 140,000
dollars is on offer in the two senior races.
In the team contests
in both senior races, there is another prize pool of 140,000
dollars, with 20,000 dollars going to the winning team, with
prizes awarded to sixth place in both races, where the payout by
the IAAF is 4,000 dollars.
There is also a
total prize pool of 30,000 dollars on offer for the inaugural
relay race, with 12,000 dollars earmarked for the winning team.