The Cross Internacional de Itálica in Santiponce, near Seville, Spain, is set for another exciting edition this Sunday. This Gold standard meeting in the World Athletics Cross Country Tour will feature top athletes from around the globe.
Leading the women's 9.9km race is Kenya's Beatrice Chebet, the world cross-country and 5km champion. Chebet, who has had past successes here, will be seeking her first win in Itálica. She will face competition from compatriot Edinah Jebitok, Ethiopia's World U20 champion Senayet Getachew, and Wede Kefale, among others. Uganda's Anne Chelangat and World and Olympic finalist Nadia Battocletti are also top contenders. Spanish athletes Irene Sánchez-Escribano, Carolina Robles, María Forero, and Britain's Amelia Quirk add depth to the field.
The men’s 9.9km race appears to be a showdown between Kenyan runners Ronald Kwemoi and Ishmael Kipkurui, and Burundi's Rodrigue Kwizera. Kwemoi, coming off recent victories, will look to continue his winning streak. However, he'll face stiff competition from Kipkurui and Kwizera, along with other contenders like Hillary Chepkwoni, Eritrea’s Aron Kifle, and Uganda’s Oscar Chelimo.
Spain's own Mohamed Katir leads the national contingent, which also includes Abdessamad Oukhelfen, Adel Mechaal, and Sergio Paniagua. Middle-distance specialist Adrian Ben and European U20 champions Niels Laros and Callum Elson are also in the mix, showcasing the event's depth.
The race has a rich history with past winners like Kenenisa Bekele and Paula Radcliffe. The weather is expected to be ideal for racing, with sunny skies and temperatures around 20-22°C, setting the stage for a memorable day of cross-country running.