Freya Murray Bupa Great Edinburgh Cross Country

Freya Murray and Stephanie Twell face daunting tasks when on home soil spearheading the British challenge for honours at the Bupa Great Edinburgh Cross Country in the New Year.

The pair of determined Scots are under no illusions they will have to be in mint condition for the country's premier cross country event on January 8 if they are to make any impact in the race.

The seventh staging of the meeting in Holyrood Park is expected to see African athletes again continue their dominance of the women's 6 kilometres contest which has never seen a European competitor make the medallist's podium.

Great Britain's three-time European junior cross country gold medallist Twell and Hayley Yelling-Higham the reigning Euro senior champion have achieved the highest continental placings with fourth place finishes. 

Now there are high hopes that Murray who has had the best season of her career highlighted by her second place finish at the Bupa Great South Run in October and Twell also in her sharpest ever form with a Commonwealth bronze medal under her belt, will lift themselves at the BBC televised event.

"They'll certainly have the crowd behind them and that can be a very important factor in any cross country race particularly at this level," said Peter Riley the meeting's elite athletes' coordinator.

The meeting which is the fourth leg of the IAAF World Cross Permit series, will also feature for the first time a men's four kilometres race featuring Olympic 1500m and 3000m steepelchase gold medallists Asbel Kiprop and Brimin Kipruto and fellow Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge the Olympic 5000m silver medallist.

Also the schedule for the first time will include the Men's International Team Challenge, featuring Great Britain & Northern Ireland senior, under 23 and under 20 sides against the USA and a Europe Select Team over 8km.

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