Cross Country season continues

Cross Country season continues
European Athletics

The Iris Lotto Crosscup will be the chance for Belgian athletes to showcase their talent in front of their home crowd in Brussels.

A total of 6,000 runners are expected in all categories including most of Europe’s top cross country runners at the Iris Lotto Crosscup.

The event, which will take place in Laeken Park in Brussels on Sunday 22 December, offers a mass participation race over a distance of 10km.

This will be the chance for Belgian athletes to showcase their talent in front of their home crowd.

This important competition comes two weeks after Europe’s best met in Belgrade for the SPAR European Cross Country Championships.

On the men’s side European under-23 champion Pieter-Jan Hannes will run beside his three senior compatriots who all finished in the top ten in Belgrade: Jeroen D’Hoedt, Koen Naert and Bashir Abdi.

They will face Great Britain’s Andy Vernon, who finished third in Belgrade, edging out D’Hoedt after a photo-finish review.

Added to the mix will be the 2012 Lotto Crosscup Roeselare winner Alex Kibet of Kenya.

The senior women’s race will see Ireland’s Fionnuala Britton, fourth in Belgrade, line up against Almensch Belete of Begium, who finished two places behind Britton in sixth at the European championships.

European under-23 champion Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands could cause a surprise as she has been in terrific form recently.

A special tribute will be made to legendary Belgian Champion Gaston Roelants, who will next year celebrate the 50th anniversary of his 3000m steeplechase Olympic gold medal in Tokyo in 1964.

“I based my winter training on cross country running, which is how I constructed my victory at the Olympics,” said Roelants.