All eyes will be on the fierce battle between Kenya’s Beatrice Chebet and Ethiopia’s Berihu Aregawi on Sunday in a thrilling showdown at the Cross Internacional Juan Muguerza – the 10th World Athletics Cross Country Tour Gold meeting in Elgoibar, Spain.
Chebet and Aregawi, both recent record-setters, are expected to showcase their top form in what promises to be an electrifying competition.
Chebet made headlines last Sunday with a world 5km record in Barcelona, clocking an impressive 14:13. Meanwhile, Aregawi dominated the roads in Madrid with a commanding 10km victory, completing the race in a remarkable 27:15.
The women’s 7.62km event sets the stage for a clash between Chebet, the reigning world cross country champion, and her compatriot Edinah Jebitok.
Chebet, a 23-year-old distance star, has a history in Elgoibar, having made her debut there four years ago, finishing as the runner-up at the age of 19.
In 2022, she returned as the pre-race favorite but had to settle for second place once again, this time behind Jebitok.
Eager for redemption, Chebet is determined to secure victory in this edition of the race, marking her third appearance this season after convincing wins in Atapuerca and Barcelona.
Jebitok, on the other hand, is enjoying a stellar cross country campaign, with a strong start in Atapuerca and an impressive winning streak in San Sebastian, Seville, Eldoret, and Venta de Banos. The 22-year-old, who finished eighth at the World Cross Country Championships in Bathurst, will be a formidable competitor in Elgoibar.
Grace Nawowuna, another talented Kenyan, will also be in contention, looking to improve on her recent performance in Eldoret. The 20-year-old, who holds a remarkable 10,000m performance of 29:47.42, finished fourth in Bathurst and aims to secure a podium spot in Elgoibar.
Ethiopia’s Asmarech Anley, coming off a strong 10km performance in Madrid where she claimed second place with a time of 30:31, will attempt to disrupt the potential Kenyan sweep of the podium.
With a stellar lineup, the race is not just a battle between nations but a showcase of individual talent. The Spanish trio of Irene Sanchez-Escribano, Carolina Robles, and Isabel Barreiro, along with the British duo of Lauren McNeil and Sarah Astin, will also be aiming for strong performances in what promises to be a thrilling Sunday in Elgoibar.