03 DEC 2010 General News Edinburgh, Scotland

Olympic champions Kiprop and Kipruto join Edinburgh XC Fields

Gateshead 1500m winner Asbel Kiprop (Mark Shearman)Gateshead 1500m winner Asbel Kiprop (Mark Shearman) © Copyright
Reigning Olympic gold medallists Asbel Kiprop and Brimin Kipruto have joined the fields for the Bupa Great Edinburgh Cross Country on 8 January, the fourth meeting of the IAAF Cross Country Permit series 2010/11.

The top notch Kenyans, who claimed the 1500m and 3000m Steeplechase titles at the 2008 Beijing Games, will contest the international four kilometre race in Edinburgh’s Holyrood Park.

The pair will join a global field which already includes fellow countryman Eliud Kipchoge, a former World 5000m champion, who was runner-up over the distance at the last Olympics in the Chinese capital.

"We're delighted that we have already attracted three of the world's greatest distance runners and it supports our decision in reducing the men's international race distance from 9km to 4km," said Peter Riley, the meeting's elite event co-ordinator.

"The distance was dropped from the World Cross Country Championships a couple of years ago, although it was always popular amongst the athletes. Now our initiative has seen enquiries from several other top stars keen to take part and negotiations with their managers are already in the pipeline."

"Kiprop, although a metric mile specialist, is more than happy to step up in distance and let's remember, he was the 2007 World Junior Cross Country Champion,” Riley added.

"Kipruto hasn't paid any serious attention to Cross Country in the past but with his steeplechase background, will be extremely suited to a course which will suit his style of running.

The meeting, which will be broadcast live on BBC Television, will still feature the traditional women's international 6km race.

For the first time, the schedule will include a 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.

Organisers for the IAAF