Entry lists for the IAAF/Mikkeller World Cross Country Championships Aarhus 2019 confirm that 582 elite runners from 67 teams will descend on Denmark for the global event on Saturday.
More than 300 athletes (171 men, 139 women) are entered for the individual senior races, while more than 200 (121 men, 111 women) will be in action in the U20 races. Ten teams have been entered for the mixed relay.
Both individual men’s winners from 2017 will clash in the senior men’s race in Aarhus as two-time champion Geoffrey Kamworor of Kenya takes on Uganda’s world U20 cross-country champion Jacob Kiplimo. Kenyan cross-country champion Amos Kirui and Ethiopian champion Mogos Tuemay are also expected to be strong challengers.
In the senior women’s race, world 5000m champion Hellen Obiri will line up against steeplechase world record-holder Beatrice Chepkoech, two-time world U20 cross-country champion Letesenbet Gidey of Ethiopia and Commonwealth 10,000m champion Stella Chesang.
Double European champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen will contest the U20 men’s race, taking on the likes of Kenyan U20 champion Samuel Chebolei and world U18 steeplechase champion Leonard Bett.
Sarah Chelangat, the Youth Olympic champion at 3000m and cross country, is among the favourites for the U20 women’s race along with world U20 5000m champion Beatrice Chebet of Kenya and African U20 cross-country champion Girmawit Gebrzihair of Ethiopia.
Kenya will defend their title in the mixed relay, helped by world and Olympic steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto and world 1500m champion Elijah Manangoi. Morocco, Ethiopia and Uganda have also fielded strong teams.
Thousands more runners will take to the start line in Aarhus for the various mass participation races held in conjunction with the championships.
The final start lists will be available on Friday.
Winners of the individual men's and women's races will each earn US$30,000 (Sh3.2million), with money paid out to the top six finishers.
In total, US$140,000 (Sh14.1 million) is on offer in the two senior races.
In the team contest in both senior races, there is another prize pool of US$140,000 (Sh14.1million), with US$20,000 (Sh2.2million) going to the winning team, with prizes awarded to sixth place in both races, where the pay out by the IAAF is US$4000 (Sh400,000).
There is also a total prize pool of US$30,000 (Sh3.2million) on offer for the mixed relay, with US$12,000 (Sh1.2million) earmarked for the winning team. Here, the first four teams across the line will be awarded prize money.
In all races, teams may enter a maximum of eight athletes, but no more than six shall be allowed to start in each race with four to score.
The team results are decided by the aggregate of places recorded by the scoring athletes of each team. The team with the lowest aggregate of points will be judged the winner.
If a team fails to finish with a complete scoring team, the runners finishing shall be counted as individuals in the race result and be eligible for the individual prize money (senior races only).
In the event of a tie, it shall be resolved in favour of the team whose last scoring member finishes nearer to first place.