Double World Champion Kiprop Chasing Another Edinburgh Title

Asbel Kiprop, the current 1500m World Champion, will start his New Year campaign when he defends his Bupa Great Edinburgh XCountry crown on 11 January 2014.

The Kenyan, who roared to a solid victory in the last Men’s international short course race in 2012, lines up against a field including the world's greatest ever cross country runner, Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele, and his younger brother, Olympic 10000m bronze medallist Tariku Bekele.

Chris Thompson, a former European 10000m silver medallist will head the British opposition in the four kilometre clash alongside Scotland's promising middle distance runner, European Junior 1500m champion Jake Wightman.

Teenager Wightman has ambitions of making the Scottish team for this summer's Commonwealth Games taking place in Glasgow, and this will be a testing occasion for the 19-year-old Edinburgh AC athlete.

Also competing will be Garrett Heath of the United States who surprisingly won the Bupa Great North Mile on Tyneside last September when beating world class opposition including after a hard season, a very tired looking Kiprop in a sprint finish.  

However Kiprop the 2008 Olympic gold medallist who surrendered the title at the London Games, carrying a hamstring injury, is also a talented cross country runner and, will come ready for the meeting in mint condition. 

Peter Riley, the event's elite athlete manager, insisted he will arrive fully fit after being involved in a road traffic accident last November along with fellow countrymen, World Marathon record holder Wilson Kipsang and James Kangogo.

"Asbel lost control of his car on a bend before landing in a ditch after hitting a rock," said Riley. "But after hospital treatment for bruising he had a short recuperation period and has been back in full time training for quite some time."

The Bupa Great Edinburgh Cross Country will also feature the annual match between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Team Europe and the United States over the long course. The day includes a popular mass participation 5K, which see’s 2,500 runners take on their first event of the year, the Bupa Great Winter Run in the picturesque surroundings of Holyrood Park.

The event is free to spectate and no tickets are required, visit www.greatrun.org  for athlete announcements and event information. The Bupa Great Edinburgh XCountry will be shown live on BBC One and BBC One HD on 11 January from 13:14 – 14:45.  

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