British Athletics have announced the 40-strong team to compete at the Great Edinburgh International XCountry, supported through EventScotland's International Programme, on Saturday 7 January 2017 including the two-time double Olympic champion Mo Farah.
Farah, who finished second at last year’s edition of the popular cross country race, will line-up alongside the European cross country championships senior men’s bronze medallist Callum Hawkins who will return to compete on home soil.
Farah, who is the only Briton to have won the senior men’s race in the Scottish capital, said: “I am looking forward to the Great Edinburgh International XCountry on January 7. Holyrood Park is always a great venue and I’m sure the course will offer the usual challenges. I have been back in full training for the past few weeks and this event will offer me a good opportunity to measure my fitness and see how training is going ahead of the 2017 track season.”
Hawkins said: “It will be a great way to kick-start 2017. It’s a good opportunity to compete back on home soil; it’s an event I always enjoy racing in. 2016 has been incredible for me and hopefully I will continue to head in the right direction in the New Year.”
Fellow senior men’s team gold medallists from Chia; Andy Vernon, Ben Connor, Dewi Griffiths and Ross Millington will also contend the race against athletes from Europe and USA. Notably, European U20 bronze medallist Mahamed Mahamed, at the age of 19, earns his first senior call-up to the British team.
European 5000m bronze medallist Steph Twell and Gemma Steel add significant experience to the senior women’s team. They will be joined by European cross U23 team gold medallists Jessica Judd, Rebecca Murray and Georgina Outten who will add fire power to the Great Britain outfit.
Harriet Knowles-Jones, fresh from winning European U20 bronze in Chia, will return to the cross country set-up alongside fellow U20 team gold medallists Amelia Quirk and Victoria Weir. In the men’s equivalent, 11th placer in Sardinia Alex Yee will lead the U20 men’s squad.
British record holder over 1500m Laura Muir will race in the mixed 4x1km relay for the second successive year with three further athletes taking on athletes from Europe, USA, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and England.
Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “Mo Farah is one of Great Britain’s all-time sporting greats, so we are delighted that he is returning to the Great Edinburgh International XCountry for the second time in as many years.
“Scotland is the Perfect Stage for sporting events, attracting many of the world’s finest athletes to compete in our outstanding built facilities and over our natural landscapes, and we look forward to welcoming Mo back to Edinburgh again in 2017.”
The Great Edinburgh International XCountry is free to spectate and will be shown live on BBC One and BBC One HD from 13:15 on January 7, 2017.
The popular Great Winter Run, held on a scenic 5km course that loops around Arthur's Seat, provides the public with a perfect opportunity to dust off the New Year cobwebs before watching the world's best test themselves in the international cross country races.
Entry to the Great Winter Run is available online at greatrun.org/winter