Yohei Komatsu leads during the early stages of the senior men's race at the IAAF/Mikkeller World Cross Country Championships Aarhus 2019 (© Getty Images)
Entry lists for the World Athletics Cross Country Championships Bathurst 23 confirm that 453 elite runners from 48 teams will descend on Australia for the global event on Saturday 18 February.
More than 230 athletes (134 men, 102 women) are entered for the individual senior races, while more than 150 (81 men, 73 women) will be in action in the U20 races. 15 teams have been entered for the mixed relay.
The senior men’s podium finishers from the last edition in Aarhus in 2019 will clash again as defending champion Joshua Cheptegei and fellow Ugandan Jacob Kiplimo take on two-time winner Geoffrey Kamworor.
World 10,000m champion Letesenbet Gidey, a two-time winner of the U20 title, will seek to earn her first senior world cross-country title in the women’s race. Kenya’s Beatrice Chebet and Eritrea’s Rahel Daniel are expected to provide tough opposition.
World U20 champions Medina Eisa of Ethiopia, Faith Cherotich and Reynold Cheruiyot of Kenya will all feature in the U20 races.
Ethiopia will defend their title in the mixed relay, helped by world and Olympic steeplechase finalist Getnet Wale. Steeplechase world record-holder Beatrice Chepkoech features on a strong Kenyan team, while host nation Australia also has a formidable quartet, which includes the likes of Ollie Hoare, Stewart McSweyn and Jess Hull.
Hundreds of other runners will take to the start line in Bathurst for the various mass participation races held in conjunction with the championships.
The final start lists will be available on Friday 17 February.