The technical director of the Ethiopian Athletics Federation (EAF), Dube Jilo has said their team is very ready to defend the World Cross Country title.
Speaking to our reporter during an interview at the National Stadium in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa last Friday, Jilo said they are determined to retain the trophy. “We have many young athletes who have worked hard to make it to the team,” he added.
Ethiopia won four gold medals, two silvers and three bronze medals during the 2015 IAAF World Cross Country Championship held in Guiyang, China. One of the top female athletes Genzebe Dibaba will be part of the team.
But the Kenyans who finished second at the last event have also promised to come all out and win the title. Over 1000 Kenyan fans are expected to travel to Kampala to cheer their team.
Meanwhile the Australia team has arrived in Kampala ahead of the Championship. “The 23-man team of Australia arrived on Monday and we expect the US team to be here on Tuesday night,” Beatrice Ayikoru, secretary Uganda Athletics Federation (UAF) told this publication.
A record 59 nations have entered the event which will have 553 athletes taking part.
Uganda’s team to be captained by Timothy Toroitich will also have 2012 Olympics marathon gold medal winner Stephen Kiprotich. Cash prizes await top finishers at the biennial event. Uganda beat Bahrain in the bid to host the Championship.