21 DEC 2009 General News Edinburgh, Scotland

Yelling to take on Dibaba in Edinburgh

Tirunesh Dibaba en route to victory in Edinburgh (Getty Images)Tirunesh Dibaba en route to victory in Edinburgh (Getty Images) © Copyright
Fresh off of her victory at the European Cross Country Championships last weekend, Briton Hayley Yelling will be taking her momentum to Edinburgh for the Bupa Great Edinburgh International Cross Country, an IAAF XC permit race, on 9 January.

In the most formidable of tests, Yelling will square off against Tirunesh Dibaba, the reigning Olympic 5000 and 10,0000m champion and three-time World Cross Country champion. Less than two years ago, Dibaba, now 24, won her third World title in Cross Country in the same Holyrood Park venue in Edinburgh.

Prior to her 2008 World Cross Country triumph, Dibaba had already run in Edinburgh, winning the inaugural race in 2005.

Local eyes will however focus firmly on Yelling, who just a few months after coming out of retirement stunned her rivals at the European championships earlier this month where she took a gun-to-tape victory and winning by nearly 50 metres.

Yelling insists it is not her intention to again pursue a full time running career quickly pointing out that the World Championships next March don't figure in her plans.

"I might do a few more races and see how I’m doing but I’m not looking as far as the World Cross or anything," the 35-year-old veteran said after adding another gold medal following her victory in 2004.

"I’m just enjoying my athletics and not putting any pressure on myself. It seems to be working."

Dibaba's younger sister 18-year-old Genzebe who has won the last two World Junior cross country crowns is expected to be a strong contender in the six kilometres race while Freya Murray leads the Scottish challenge.

The meeting will feature a titanic clash in the men's competition  where six-time World Cross champion Kenenisa Bekele goes head-to-head with fellow Ethiopian Gebre Gebremariam who succeeded him with his victory in Amman last March.

Organisers for the IAAF