Zersenay Tadese and Kenenisa Bekele in the leading pack at the 2007 World Cross Country Championships in Mombasa, Kenya (Getty Images) © Copyright
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US$280,000 in prize money and a wide open title chase – Amman 2009

MonteCarloThe battle for honours at the 37th IAAF World Cross Country Championships, Amman, Jordan on Saturday 28 March is set to be more competitively open than has been the case at these championships for most of a decade.

With the dominant, multiple title winning Ethiopians Kenenisa Bekele and Tirunesh Dibaba sidelined by injury, the only previous individual senior champions who will be racing for further World Cross Country honours in the Jordanian capital are Zersenay Tadese (ERI) and Gelete Burka (ETH). The former was famously the vanquisher of Bekele in 2007 and was bronze medallist last year, while the latter, a junior winner in 2005, was the last champion of the now discontinued senior women’s short course race (2006).

Competition for medals in Amman will be as strong and as exciting as ever.

Qatar's World 3000m Steeplechase champion Saif Saaeed Shaheen, 2009 Kenyan champion Moses Mosop who was World XC silver medallist behind Tadese in 2007, compatriot Leonard Komon the runner-up in Edinburgh 12 months ago, and Asian 10,000m record holder and XC champion Ahmed Hassan Abdullah of Qatar are among the others challenging for the senior men’s crown.

The Netherlands’ European champion Hilda Kibet is another entered for the women’s senior race along with former World Junior XC champions Meselech Melkamu of Ethiopia (2004) and Kenya’s Linet Masai (2007) who was the senior bronze medallist last year, Bahrain’s Asian XC champion and World 1500m title holder Maryam Yusuf Jamal, and 2009 Kenyan champion Florence Kiplagat.

A sum of US$280,000 in prize money will be paid by the IAAF for the two senior races in Amman.**

A US$30,000 prize is available for each individual winner of the men’s and women’s senior races with money filtering down to 6th position where the reward is US$3000 per athlete. In total US$140,000 is on offer as individual prizes.

In terms of the team contest in both senior events, there is another prize pool of US$140,000. This is distributed with US$20,000 going to the first team home in each race, descending to 6th place where the pay out is US$4000.

Prize Money in US$ – senior men’s and women’s races only

1st – 30,000
2nd – 15,000
3rd – 10,000
4th – 7000
5th – 5000
6th – 3000

1st – 20,000
2nd – 16,000
3rd – 12,000
4th – 10,000
5th – 8000
6th – 4000

Chris Turner for the IAAF

** There is no prize money paid for the two junior races.

The payment of prize money in the senior races is dependent upon the athletes clearing the usual anti-doping procedures.

NOTE - Comprehensive race previews covering the senior and junior races will be published on the IAAF Website next week.