The Asitz Summit Mountain Run in Saalfelden Leogang, Austria, has become part of the WMRA Mountain Running Grand Prix for the first time this year and should feature a duel between the Eritrean pair of Pedro Mamu and Azaria Teklay on Sunday (15).
Mamu, the 2012 WMRA World Mountain Running Championships gold medallist, and three-time World Championships silver medallist Teklay will be vying for supremacy over the 8km course which is the fifth leg of this year's six-race WMRA Grand Prix.
Austria-based Swiss athlete David Schneider and the local Tyrolean runner Simon Lechleitner, Austria’s most internationally successful runner of recent years, should lead the European challenge and Alexander Rieder’s course record of 49:53 could be under threat from such a classy quartet.
Teklay, in particular, will want to prove himself after only finishing ninth at last Sunday’s World Mountain Running Championships in Poland.
The 2012 WMRA Grand Prix winner, has already won two of the four races in this year's Grand Prix, in France and Slovenia, but Alex Baldaccini's overall consistency means that the Italian has a 13 point lead, 267 to 254, over his African rival in this year's standings after four races and with two races to go.
Jonathan Wyatt, the mountain running legend from New Zealand, has also confirmed he’ll be on the start line in Saalfelden Leogan, along with Italy’s Gabrielle Abate from Italy, currently third in the Grand Prix standings.
The most impressive name among the women’s entries is Slovenia’s Mateja Kosovelj, third in this year’s European Championships and fourth at the World Championships last Sunday.
Kosovelj is also second in the current Grand Prix standings and won on home soil at the Grintovec race in Kamnik back in July.
Antonella Confortola-Wyatt, this year’s World Long Distance Mountain Running challenge winner from Italy, has also confirmed she will be accompanying her husband to Austria and racing on Sunday.
WMRA for the IAAF