03 JAN 2012 General News Edinburgh, UK

Kipchoge to defend Edinburgh title against three Olympic champions

Eliud Kipchoge dominates in the Edinburgh snow (Mark Shearman)Eliud Kipchoge dominates in the Edinburgh snow (Mark Shearman) © Copyright

Olympic 5000m silver medallist Eliud Kipchoge will defend his short course title at the Bupa Great Edinburgh Cross Country on Saturday (7) where the opposition includes three outstanding distance running champions from the 2008 Beijing Games.


Kipchoge, in what should be an intriguing three kilometres clash in Holyrood Park, is in a line up which includes his fellow Kenyans Asbel Kiprop and Brimin Kipruto plus Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia.


The start list also includes Spain's Arturo Casado, winner over 1500m at the 2010 European Championships and British international Ricky Stevenson, a past winner who defeated Steve Vernon and Mo Farah two years ago when the race was restricted to British runners.


It was Bekele who denied Kipchoge the opportunity to add Olympic gold to his 2003 World Championships victory when decisively defeating him in the Bird's Nest stadium having previously won the 10,000m crown six days earlier.


The last Olympic Games also saw Kiprop, originally second in the 1500m final, awarded the gold medal after Rashid Ramzi of Bahrain was stripped of his victory after a doping violation while Kipruto lifted the 3000m Steeplechase title.


All four will be familiar with the course, Bekele having won the long course race on three occasions while Kipchoge claimed a success over the eight kilometres distance at the inaugural meeting in 2005 before cruising to victory in the shorter and first ever international race 12 months ago.


Despite the challenge of having to run on a snow covered course, Kipchoge dominated the opposition winning by a healthy margin ahead Kiprop and Kipruto who also adapted comfortably to the arduous conditions.


Now the quartet will go head-to-head in what should be the highlight of the second stop of 2012 on this season's IAAF Permit Series of Cross Country meetings which will be broadcast live by BBC Television from 1 pm local time.


The meeting also includes a high profile Team Challenge competition between the Great Britain & Northern Ireland side, the United States and a European Select squad.


Organisers for the IAAF