After a last minute withdrawal by world steeplechase champion Wilson Boit Kipketer (KEN), who failed to pick up his visa from the British embassy in Nairobi, the organisers of the Durham International Cross have announced the participation of former Olympic 10,000 metre champion Khalid Skah.
Skah will be a major draw in what the organisers have announced as the biggest field ever to participate in the Durham event, which is the second leg of the IAAF World Cross Challenge.
Skah, who was world cross country champion in 1990 and 1991, will be competing against, amongst others, the reigning British champion Jon Brown and his compatriot Keith Cullen, who also placed in the top ten in Brussels.
The organisers had heralded a cross country debut appearance by Iwan Thomas, holder of the British 400m record , but Thomas, who had entered the invitational 3.7 kilometre race which will precede the main event following a friendly bet with British miler Tony Whiteman, thought better of it and withdrew.
We understand that the organisers are currently negotiating the participation of Thomas Nyariki (KEN) as a last-minute replacement for Boit Kipketer.