Preview: Cross Internacional Juan Muguerza in Elgoibar

Posted by: Watch Athletics

The upcoming Cross Internacional Juan Muguerza in Elgoibar, Spain, part of the World Athletics Cross Country Tour Gold, promises an exciting lineup of athletes. Kenya's Beatrice Chebet and Ethiopia's Berihu Aregawi are set to headline the event on January 7th. Both Chebet and Aregawi come into the race with recent impressive performances: Chebet set a world 5km record in Barcelona, while Aregawi secured a 10km win in Madrid.

Chebet, the world cross country champion, will face tough competition, particularly from her Kenyan compatriot Edinah Jebitok. Chebet has a history in Elgoibar, having finished second in her debut four years ago and then again in 2022. This year's 7.62km women's race marks her third appearance this season, with notable wins in Atapuerca and Barcelona.

Jebitok, on her part, has had a successful season with a series of wins and a strong performance at the World Cross Country Championships. Another Kenyan, Grace Nawowuna, is also a contender, boasting a significant 10,000m personal best. Ethiopia's Asmarech Anley, who recently excelled in Madrid, will be looking to challenge the Kenyan dominance.

In the men's 9.7km race, Aregawi will be a key figure, competing for the first time on Spanish cross country soil. His main competition is expected to be Rodrigue Kwizera of Burundi, a consistent performer in the World Athletics Cross Country Tour. Moroccan steeplechaser Soufiane El Bakkali and Kenya's Ishmael Kipkurui are also athletes to watch.

Local Spanish athletes and contenders from various countries will compete in the U20 races, vying for the Mamo Wolde prize, commemorating the Ethiopian Olympic marathon champion. The event is set against the backdrop of challenging weather conditions, with cold and rainy forecasts.

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