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IAAF org: Ethiopian and Kenyan parade expected in Belfast

Paul Tergat won last year and there will be a keen Kenyan battle to succeed him as champion


Thursday 6 January 2005
Ethiopians should dominate the battle for honours in the womens race, while Kenyans are likely to occupy the mens podium at the Belfast International Cross Country - IAAF permit - in Northern Ireland, which takes place on Saturday (8 Jan).

WOMEN - A battle of the generations
Merima Denboba takes on a talented young contingent led by double World Junior champion Meselech Melkamu, who is hoping to go one better than she did in Brussels just before Christmas.

The 19-year-old won World Junior titles on the track (5000m) and country last year and although her style isn’t always fluent there is little doubting her quality.

Meselech, who ran 15:00.02 for 5000m last year, is joined by one of her team-mates from the winning Ethiopian team at the World Junior Cross Country Championships in the form of 17-year-old Workitu Kidane (also known as Kidane Ayanu).

Reigning African 5000m champion Etalemahu Kidane is another Ethiopian with a good pedigree on the country, having taken bronze at the World Junior Championships in 2000, so they will be hoping to deny Denboba victory.

At the age of 30, Denboba is hoping experience conquers youth and she certainly has happy memories of the city as she took silver there in the long race at the 1999 World Cross Country Championships.

She has also made the podium in the short race at the World Cross Country Championships and with four team gold medals in the space of five years when competing for Ethiopia she is a highly consistent performer.

Poland’s 2003 European Cup 3000m winner Justyna Lesman is arguably the best European-born hope but Britain hope to have challengers such as Commonwealth Youth 1500m champion Morag McLarty and fellow Scot Freya Murray.

MEN - A Kenyan party
Africans have won the men’s race for 12 of the last 13 years ...

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