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Less than 300 days to go for Bathurst 2021 Cross Country Athletics World Championships

In less than 300 days’ time, the world’s best distance athletes will descend on New South Wales in Australia for the World Athletics Cross Country Championships Bathurst 2021 on 20 March.

The weekend will include mass participation races, highlighted by a golden ticket event where amateur athletes will race for the chance to compete against the world’s best in the senior championship races. The event will also include the Australian cross country club challenge, which will pit athletics clubs from across the country against one another, racing for bragging rights as the best cross country club in the nation.

Brenda LaPorte, Chair of the Local Organising Committee, said organisers are working hard to fulfil the vision for the event with an outstanding athletic experience, a true celebration of the sport and Australian culture.

“The 2019 championships in Denmark certainly raised the bar and in 2021 we’re looking to take the World Athletics Cross Country Championships to an even higher level,” said LaPorte.

“We’re planning that everyone who visits Bathurst for the championships leaves with the memory of a truly unique, and warmly welcome, regional Australian experience.

“I’m also pleased to say that we will host an invitational para cross country race, which is the first time that para cross country has featured in a World Athletics Cross Country Championships.”

A technical and challenging championship course awaits participants with constant changes in terrain, elevation and direction breaking up a runner’s rhythm. The course has an uphill start and incorporates unique features such as the billabong and a run through a vineyard and its stunning autumn foliage. The senior races will comprise five loops of the two-kilometre course.

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe is looking forward to attending the event.

“I want to express my thanks to Athletics Australia, the NSW Government through Destination NSW, and the team at World Athletics for their efforts in producing what will be an extraordinary championship,” Coe said.

“This has been an exceptionally challenging year for the community and for sport globally, so I’m very excited about the prospect of a return to world championship competition next year. Bathurst promises to be a great celebration of sport, from elite to community level. I really love cross country. These championships will not only feature the best distance runners of their generation, but possibly of all time. I encourage anyone with young people in their family to attend as this is a truly inspiring event.”

Spectators at the event can expect action-packed racing on a looped course with easy access to all areas, along with a range of off-track entertainment and activities to keep the whole family engaged. For fans unable to get to Bathurst, the World Athletics Cross Country Championships Bathurst 2021 will feature a live international television broadcast and live stream with more than 60 countries expected to broadcast the event.

“This will be the first World Athletics event to be held in Australia for 25 years, so it will be fantastic to welcome 550 elite runners from more than 60 countries to the famed Bathurst racetrack to compete,” said Stuart Ayres, New South Wales’ Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney.

Legendary Australian runner Rob de Castella is Head of Delegation for the Australian Team and said the host nation’s athletes have plenty of motivation to perform.

“Having only ever had one winner of the event, when Benita Willis blitzed the world back in 2004, the Australian team will need to overcome history,” he said. “But I know they are excited to race in front of a large, parochial home crowd who will spur them on. The team will also be inspired to etch their names into the sporting folklore of Bathurst’s Mount Panorama alongside other Australian sporting greats.”

(05/27/2020) Views: 228 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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World Athletics Cross Country Championships

World Athletics Cross Country Championships

Athletes from across the globe will descend on Australia for the World Athletics Cross Country Championships Bathurst 2021. To celebrate the one year to go mark, the local organising committee has unveiled the official course animation for the event, which is scheduled to take place on 20 March 2021. Mount Panorama is better known as the home...

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World half marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor is hopeful of making one more attempt to win the World Cross Country Championships in Bathurst, Australia in 2021

Kamworor lost his title last year in Denmark, representing his first defeat in cross country in four attempts as he finished third.

Now, the 27-year-old believes he will overcome the health and safety challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic to return to action and dominate cross country once more to win his third title as a senior.

"We shall bounce back stronger," Kamworor said on Monday. "However, what is important now is to stay safe, remain focused and stay positive. It is temporary what we are witnessing. Together we shall overcome."

Mount Panorama in Bathurst is better known as the home of Australia's premier endurance motor race, but next March 20 it will welcome the world's best endurance runners for what will be Australia's first World Athletics Series event in 25 years.

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said he is looking forward to attending the event.

"I want to express my thanks to the efforts made in producing what will be an extraordinary championship," Coe said.

"This has been an exceptionally challenging year for the community and for sport globally, so I'm very excited about the prospect of a return to world championship competition next year."

Coe also noted that cross country is important to World Athletics, adding that there are no plans to remove it from the calendar.

"Bathurst promises to be a great celebration of sport, from elite to community level. I really love cross country. These championships will not only feature the best distance runners of their generation, but possibly of all time. I encourage anyone with young people in their family to attend as this is a truly inspiring event," he said.

Of the World Athletics Series events that were scheduled for 2020, only the World Half Marathon Championships will go ahead this year, on 17 October in Gdynia, Poland.

The World Indoor Championships will be held in Nanjing in March 2021, but the World U20 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya, and the World Race Walking Team Championships in Minsk, Belarus have yet to be rescheduled.

(05/25/2020) Views: 425 ⚡AMP
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World Athletics Cross Country Championships

World Athletics Cross Country Championships

Athletes from across the globe will descend on Australia for the World Athletics Cross Country Championships Bathurst 2021. To celebrate the one year to go mark, the local organising committee has unveiled the official course animation for the event, which is scheduled to take place on 20 March 2021. Mount Panorama is better known as the home...

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Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei named Sportsman of the year

Joshua Cheptegei surprised the world at the 2019 World Cross Country Championships in Aarhus, Denmark.

Friday night, Joshua Cheptegei was crowned 2018 Nile Special –Uganda Sports Press Association (USPA) Sportsman of the year a befitting honor at Imperial Royale Hotel.

Cheptegei was voted the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) Moment of the Month for his outstanding performance in Aarhus, where he led a Ugandan 1-2 finish with Compatriot Jacob Kiplimo taking silver.  

“My big motivation was Kololo 2017 when I got a muscle pull before the home crowd but I have moved on. The Kenyans and Ethiopians should know we are coming , the end of a race in athletics is the beginning of a new one”.

(04/07/2019) Views: 984 ⚡AMP
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World Athletics Cross Country Championships

World Athletics Cross Country Championships

Athletes from across the globe will descend on Australia for the World Athletics Cross Country Championships Bathurst 2021. To celebrate the one year to go mark, the local organising committee has unveiled the official course animation for the event, which is scheduled to take place on 20 March 2021. Mount Panorama is better known as the home...

more...
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Hellen Obiri wins at the IAAF/Mikkeller World Cross Country Championships Aarhus

The world 5000m champion, Hellen Obiri became the first woman in history to win senior world titles indoors, outdoors and at cross country. The only man to achieve such a feat is Kenenisa Bekele.

“It is really special,” smiled Obiri after completing the 10.24km course in 36:14. “It was my debut IAAF World Cross Country Championships and my only chance to do it. I now don't need to do any more cross country.”

Obiri arrived in Aarhus in good form, having clocked 29:59 for 10km at the end of December and winning at the IAAF Cross Country Permit meeting in Elgoibar in January and at the Kenyan Cross Country Championships last month.

The 29-year-old had clearly also thought about her tactics ahead of this weekend. She led the race from the early stages and could be seen visibly leaning into the hill as she tackled the climb up the Moesgaard Museum roof on each lap.

“I thought you must look down, as you don't want to look up to see where you are going and at how difficult the hill is,” she revealed of her technique. “I knew it wasn't going to be a test of speed, as it was a tough hill. It was all about mind games.”

At the end of the second of five laps, a group of five had already broken away, led by Obiri in 14:16, with sub-2:22 marathon runner Dera Dida, world U20 steeplechase silver medallist Peruth Chemutai, steeplechase world record-holder Beatrice Chepkoech and two-time world U20 cross-country champion Letesenbet Gidey in close procession.

(03/30/2019) Views: 888 ⚡AMP
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World Athletics Cross Country Championships

World Athletics Cross Country Championships

Athletes from across the globe will descend on Australia for the World Athletics Cross Country Championships Bathurst 2021. To celebrate the one year to go mark, the local organising committee has unveiled the official course animation for the event, which is scheduled to take place on 20 March 2021. Mount Panorama is better known as the home...

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Joshua Cheptegei takes the title by 25 meters at the senior men’s race at the World Cross-Country Championships

Two years ago, at his home championship in Kampala, Cheptegei looked all over the winner when he had dashed to a 60-metre lead at the start of the final lap. But his apparently decisive move came too soon. Half-way around the final lap he was in trouble. Soon after that he literally did not know where he was.

Today in Aarhus was atonement day, as Cheptegei dashed clear of precocious teammate Jacob Kiplimo and defending champion Geoffrey Kamworor to take the world title by 25 meters in 31:40 over the 10,240m course. Again he did not know where he was, because he has never been a senior world champion before. Now, he had arrived at a long-held goal.

It got better and better for Cheptegei. With Kiplimo second, Thomas Ayeko seventh and Joseph Ayeko tenth, Uganda wrapped up the teams race as well. That was another first, the first time Uganda has taken either a senior or junior gold medal. At senior level, the previous best was bronze medals in Mombasa in 2007 and Kampala last time.

Despite his burn-out, it was Cheptegei’s 30th place finish which clinched the team bronze medal. He contributed, even while out on his feet. Some of that grit no doubt helped over the twisting, turning, climbing and swooping Aarhus course.

As with all races on the day, the steep climb and headlong descent of the roof of the Moesgaard Museum played a major role in dictating the manner in which the senior men’s race was run and in determining how it finished. Cheptegei did not always look the strongest on the roof, but he was when it counted most on the final lap.

The steep, uphill start turned normal world cross-country protocol on its head. The charge off the line in the men’s race looked familiar, but the first lap was by some way the slowest 2km split of the race, which then got quicker and quicker by the lap.

Ugandan vests were always prominent in the lead pack, even when it numbered up to 30 in the early stages. Uganda started with four in the top 10 and finished the same way.

Almost from the outset, however, it was Kiplimo who was the aggressor. He pushed the pace up the roof in the second lap and soon after they entered the third lap he had pulled Cheptegei, Kamworor and Eritrea’s Aron Kifle clear.

While Rhonex Kipruto and Selemon Barega had tried to bridge that gap, by the half-way mark of the race it was clear there were only four who could win. Into the fourth lap, that was down to three as Kifle dropped off, but the Eritrean athlete was still well clear of the chasers and held that place all the way to the line, improving one position on his Kampala race.

Kamworor had raced conservatively, always shadowing every move but rarely leading himself. As the leaders entered the fourth lap, however, he appeared to be trying to assert his authority.

(03/30/2019) Views: 976 ⚡AMP
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World Athletics Cross Country Championships

World Athletics Cross Country Championships

Athletes from across the globe will descend on Australia for the World Athletics Cross Country Championships Bathurst 2021. To celebrate the one year to go mark, the local organising committee has unveiled the official course animation for the event, which is scheduled to take place on 20 March 2021. Mount Panorama is better known as the home...

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Jakob Ingebrigtsen is aiming to make history in Aarhus Denmark

It has been 25 years since a European athlete last finished in the top 10 in the U20 men’s race at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships. The last individual medallist – a gold one at that – from Europe came 10 years before that.

But Jakob Ingebrigtsen could be capable of rewriting both of those statistics when he lines up for the U20 men’s race in Aarhus, Denmark.

The 18-year-old Norwegian caused a stir last year when he won the 1500m and 5000m at the senior European Championships in Berlin, setting a continental U20 record of 13:17.06 in the latter. One month prior he had set a European U20 1500m record of 3:31.18 in Monaco.

After winning his third consecutive European U20 cross-country title in December, he beat world indoor record-holder Samuel Tefera over 1500m in Dusseldorf in February and went on to win 3000m gold and 1500m silver at the European Indoor Championships in Glasgow.

Ingebrigtsen boasts the fastest track PBs of the field and has considerably more international racing experience. But he has never raced farther than 6.3km and could become something of a target if some of the stronger nations utilise team tactics.

All 39 individual medals on offer in the U20 men's race from the past 13 editions have been shared between Kenya (23), Ethiopia (10) and Uganda (6). The same three nations once again look poised to battle it out for individual and team medals.

Unsurprisingly, the Kenyan team appears to be the strongest. Led by national U20 cross-country champion Samuel Chebolei, the team also includes Commonwealth Youth Games 3000m champion Edwin Kiplangat Bett, who finished eighth in the U20 men’s race two years ago in Kampala, and Leonard Bett, the world U18 steeplechase champion.

(03/29/2019) Views: 959 ⚡AMP
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World Athletics Cross Country Championships

World Athletics Cross Country Championships

Athletes from across the globe will descend on Australia for the World Athletics Cross Country Championships Bathurst 2021. To celebrate the one year to go mark, the local organising committee has unveiled the official course animation for the event, which is scheduled to take place on 20 March 2021. Mount Panorama is better known as the home...

more...
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World Cross Country defending champion Geoffrey Kamworor is ready to defend his title this weekend

World Cross Country defending champion Geoffrey Kamworor has sent a warning to his opponents ahead of the world championships in Denmark that he is not ready to relinquish his title.

Kamworor will lead team Kenya for the championships to be held on the 30th of March seeking to make it a third in a row.

As defending champion, let’s take Kamworor first. Not only will he be going for his third straight senior title at cross-country in Aarhus, but also for a sixth straight world title in six years, his two previous cross-country victories in Guiyang (2015) and Kampala (2017), augmented by World Half Marathon championships in 2014, 2016 and 2018.

Kamworor has already joined the group of men to have won at least two world cross-country titles. A further triumph this weekend would put him in the select company of those to have won three or more – Kenenisa Bekele (six), John Ngugi and Paul Tergat (five) and Carlos Lopes (three).

He finished only fifth in the Kenyan championship, won by Amos Kirui, but neither the Kenyan, nor Ethiopian, trial has proven a reliable guide to relative finishing order at recent world championships.

Expect Kamworor to present on the start line at Aarhus in excellent shape. He deserves the status of the "man to beat."

There will be $310,000 of prize money on the line, certainly the most of any cross-country races.

(03/27/2019) Views: 923 ⚡AMP
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World Athletics Cross Country Championships

World Athletics Cross Country Championships

Athletes from across the globe will descend on Australia for the World Athletics Cross Country Championships Bathurst 2021. To celebrate the one year to go mark, the local organising committee has unveiled the official course animation for the event, which is scheduled to take place on 20 March 2021. Mount Panorama is better known as the home...

more...
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The Crown Prince of Denmark is so excited about the upcoming world cross-country championships that he decided to run it

This Saturday is the World Cross-Country Championships in Aarhus, Denmark. Many of the world’s best athletes will be competing, including world half-marathon champion and world 10,000m gold medallist Geoffrey Kamworor in the senior men’s race.

Also running is distance stud Jakob Ingebrigtsen in the U20 men’s race, 5,000m world champion Hellen Obiri in the senior women’s race and world juinor 5,000m champion Beatrice Chebet in the U20 women’s event.

The IAAF president and former Olympic medallist Seb Coe and Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark, are taking part in the 8K event.

The Crown Prince is an avid runner.

(03/27/2019) Views: 896 ⚡AMP
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World Athletics Cross Country Championships

World Athletics Cross Country Championships

Athletes from across the globe will descend on Australia for the World Athletics Cross Country Championships Bathurst 2021. To celebrate the one year to go mark, the local organising committee has unveiled the official course animation for the event, which is scheduled to take place on 20 March 2021. Mount Panorama is better known as the home...

more...
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