Tirop faces Ethiopian three in Ata­puerca

The Star (Kenya) - - Sports Local -

World cross coun­try cham­pion Agnes Tirop (pic­tured) has been drafted into the 2016/17 IAAF Cross Coun­try Per­mit se­ries opener, the Cross de Ata­puerca on Sun­day.

Je­bet, who will be mak­ing her de­but in the Span­ish race, will face fa­mil­iar com­pe­ti­tion in world sil­ver medal­list Sen­bere Te­feri and Net­sanet Gudeta (bronze), both of Ethiopia.

The Kenyan was the strong­est dur­ing the 2015 world cross coun­try cham­pi­onships in Guiyang, China, clock­ing a time of 26:01, five sec­onds bet­ter of Te­feri with Gudeta wrap­ping the medal plac­ings in 26:11.

Prior to that, Tirop, now 21, had earned bronze medals over 5000m at the 2012 and 2014 IAAF World U20 Cham­pi­onships as well as gold in the ju­nior race at the 2014 African Cross Coun­try Cham­pi­onships.

In ad­di­tion to the trio, de­fend­ing cham­pion Ethiopia’s Be­lay­nesh Oljira, will be aim­ing to be­come the first woman to win a hat-trick of ti­tles hav­ing won in 2014 and 2015.

The thir­teenth Cross Ata­puerca Bur­gos will open the eight in­di­vid­ual meet­ings to be hosted in five dif­fer­ent coun­tries.

Dur­ing the course of the three months af­ter Ata­puerca, many of the world’s finest dis­tance run­ners will take part in the IAAF Cross Coun­try Per­mit se­ries be­fore its con­clu­sion at the Athletics Kenya Cross Coun­try meet­ing in Nairobi.

The fo­cus of all the lead­ing run­ners com­pet­ing in the se­ries will be the 2017 IAAF World Cross Coun­try Cham­pi­onships in Kampala, Uganda, which will cel­e­brate its 42nd edi­tion on 26 March.

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