08 JAN 2008 General News Edinburgh, Scotland

Bekele to chase more World Cross Country gold in Edinburgh

Bekele wins the Long Race (Getty Images)Bekele wins the Long Race (Getty Images) © Copyright

Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele, his honeymoon over and back in full training, has confirmed he will compete at this year's 36th IAAF World Cross Country Championships, Edinburgh, Scotland (30 March).
 
Bekele will bid to win his sixth World Cross Country Championships long course title in Holyrood Park, Edinburgh. He also has five individual titles from the short course race which had its last outing on the World Cross Country programme in 2006.
 
The Olympic and World 10,000 metres champion bounced back from an unexpected defeat at last year’s World Cross in Mombasa to win a third successive World 10,000m track gold medal in Osaka, defeating Zersenay Tadese the Eritrean who deservedly had claimed victory in Mombasa over the country.
 
Now Bekele who has been back in intensive training since returning from his honeymoon, is determined in Edinburgh to better the five long race World Cross victories achieved by the Kenyan pair of John Ngugi and Paul Tergat.

"I will definitely be competing at the World Cross Country in Edinburgh this year," said Bekele reconfirming an announcement he made at his wedding to Ethiopian film star Danawit Gebregziabher in November.
 
"I was deeply disappointed at what happened in Mombasa and I am determined to get the title back.
 
"Winning for a sixth time means very much to me and I feel the conditions in Edinburgh will suit me much more than they did last year."
 
Bekele's decision comes as no surprise as the Scottish capital is a favourite venue for him, where in the last two years he has won the BUPA Great Edinburgh international cross country title.

He will return on Saturday (12) to Holyrood Park to chase a hatrick of victories at the Great Edinburgh International, which is an IAAF XC permit race, in a field which will also include Tadese and the 2005 winner Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya.

Bekele's schedule this winter will see Edinburgh as his only cross country race. However, he plans competing indoors over 3000m in Valencia on 9 February and then over Two Miles at the Birmingham Grand Prix on 16 February.

Dave Martin – PA International – for the IAAF