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Aprot, Kasait lead galaxy of stars to Spain cross country meet   

NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- World Cross Country Championships silver medalist Alice Aprot and Lilian Kasait will lead the women’ s field at the Cross de Atapuerca in Spain on Nov. 12.

Aprot, who has ruled out competing in the indoor circuit, wants to use the event to boost her endurance ahead of the Commonwealth Games, which will be held in Gold Coast in April.

“It is important to start the season strong. That will be possible if you push hard and work on your endurance, which can only be got in cross country running. I want to start strong and win in the first leg in Spain,” she said on Friday in Nairobi.

Kasait, who was the bronze medalist in this year’s World Cross Country Championships in Kampala, however, has warned her colleague she will not be escorting her to a coronation and should expect a battle for the title.

“I look forward to winning in Spain and then see how the rest of the circuit pans out,” said Kasait.

World 5000m champion Muktar Edris of Ethiopia has also confirmed that he will compete in the Cross de Atapuerca.

For women race Aprot and Kasait will be up against Senbere Teferi and Belaynesh Oljira as well as defending champion Bahrain’s Aweke Ayalew.

The Cross de Atapuerca will be the first of seven IAAF Cross Country Permit meetings for the 2017-2018 season. Last year Ayalew put an end to Imane Merga’s winning streak.

Following five successive wins, Ethiopia’s Merga could only finish a distant third last year as Ayalew and Uganda’s Timothy Toroitich finished almost level with one another.

The defending champion was also beaten in the women’s race last year as Teferi won convincingly in 24:48 with 2014 and 2015 winner Belaynesh Oljira down in fourth place. Both Ethiopian women will return to Atapuerca next month. 



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