21 FEB 2011 General News

Punta Umbria - One Month to go - IAAF World Cross Country Championships

Punta Umbria 2011 logo (IAAF.org)Punta Umbria 2011 logo (IAAF.org) © Copyright

READ ON for English and French language versions of this press release

- La traduction française suit le texte anglais 

Monte Carlo – With just one month to go to the IAAF World Cross Country Championships, the oldest of the IAAF’s World Athletics Series, the spotlight returns to Spain and in particular Andalusia as the Championships will be hosted in the coastal city of Punta Umbria, 100km south west of Seville, on Sunday 20 March.

Spain has one of the strongest traditions in organizing Athletics events and Seville itself played host to the IAAF’s most important competition, the World Championships in Athletics back in 1999. Most recently, it was Barcelona which witnessed an amazing success with the European Championships and it won’t be long until Athletics returns to the Catalan Capital as next year’s World Junior Championships will also be held in Barcelona.

Back to Punta Umbria where 69 Member Federations have already indicated that they will be sending teams. If the figures are maintained by the end of the Final Entry deadline (7 March 2011), Punta Umbria would be the most attended edition of the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in seven years!

Athletes will compete on Sunday 20 March over four races (Men’s Senior & Junior; Women’s Senior & Junior) on a spectacular circuit course inside a beautiful pine forest with the start-finish line located on the athletics track of Punta Umbría.

The course has two natural ascents and descents with an extra artificial two metres obstacle. Furthermore there will be another three smaller obstacles (40 centimetres) every eight metres, adding to the challenge the runners will face. In total runners will tackle nine obstacles per lap.

Many international athletes have tested and hailed this course. Eritrean Teklemarian Medhin, the reigning silver medallist, has described it as very fast with a few very difficult zones, which will ensure that the victory won’t be decided until the final laps.

The initial part of each lap is fast and flat, with the artificial obstacles. And the approach area to the finish line becomes harder with the climbs and descents. A perfect place for a change of pace!

In addition to the main programme, a “Celebrities” race will be hosted on Saturday 19 March with special focus on social responsibility and charity. The 4Km race will be run on the same circuit.

IAAF

Punta Umbria - à un mois du début des Championnats du monde de cross

21 février 2011 - Monte Carlo – A moins d’un mois du début des Championnats du monde de cross, la plus ancienne compétition de la de Série mondiale de l'athlétisme, les projecteurs se tournent vers l’Espagne et plus particulièrement vers l’Andalousie où auront lieu le dimanche 20 mars, les Mondiaux de cross dans la ville côtière de Punta Ombria, à 100 km au sud-ouest de Séville,

L’Espagne détient une grande expertise dans l’organisation de manifestations d’athlétisme. Séville a également accueilli, en 1999, les Championnats du monde d'athlétisme, la plus importante des compétitions de l’IAAF. Plus récemment, Barcelone a été témoin de l’immense succès rencontré par les Championnats d'Europe. Il ne faudra pas attendre longtemps avant que l’athlétisme ne retourne dans la capitale catalane car les championnats du monde juniors se dérouleront également à Barcelone l'an prochain.

69 fédérations ont déjà indiqué leur intention d’envoyer des équipes à Punta Umbria. Si, à l’issue de la date limite d'inscription le 7 mars prochain, ces chiffres se confirment, ce sera l’édition de Cross avec le plus de participants en sept ans !

IAAF