World Marathon silver medallist Mbarak Hassen Shami will lead a strong Qatari squad of ten athletes for the 36th IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Edinburgh, Scotland (30 March 2008).
Shami, who has a marathon personal best of 2:07.19 from winning last year's Paris Marathon, was an overwhelming victor in his only race of 2008 when taking the Lake Biwa Marathon title (2:08.23) in Otsu, Japan. He now hopes to improve on his performance from Mombasa last where he was eighth.
Qatar retains four members of the senior men's 12km team that finished fifth in the team standings in Mombassa last year. The peak of the returnees is Ahmed Hassan Abdullah who won bronze in the corresponding race in 2005, but only managed 12th in the Kenyan coastal city.
Among the newcomers, the name Sultan Khamis Zaman will be one to watch. The 2008 Asian Indoor 3000m champion took part in the recent World Indoor Championships in Valencia, Spain, and has participated in three editions of the World Cross between 2004 and 2006 before skipping last year's meet.
Charles Bett Koech will be the only runner representing Qatar in the junior men's race.
Elshadai Negash for the IAAF
Qatar squad for Edinburgh
Senior Men: Mubarak Hassan Shami, Naser Jamal Naser, Moustafa Ahmed Shebto, Ahmad Hassan Abdullah, Ali Dawoud Sedam, Gamal Belal Salem, Essa Ismail Rashed, Felix Kikwai Kibore, Sultan Khamis Zaman
Junior Men: Charles Bett Koech