European indoor champion Mechaal set for Kampala test

European indoor champion Mechaal set for Kampala test
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Newly crowned European indoor 3000m champion Adel Mechaal will be aiming for a strong showing at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Kampala on 26 March.

Adel Mechaal has been one of the busier athletes this month and the 26-year-old will don the Spanish vest for a second time in the space of three weeks when he lines up at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Kampala, Uganda on 26 March.

Mechaal sprinted to victory in a typically tactical affair over 3000m at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Belgrade before extending his winter season by winning the Spanish cross country title by one second ahead of Ayad Lamdassem on Sunday to gain selection for Kampala at the end of the month.

Adel Mechaal won European indoor 3000m gold in Belgrade earlier this month.
Adel Mechaal won European indoor 3000m gold in Belgrade earlier this month.

Mechaal has a good cross country record, winning an individual bronze medal at the 2015 SPAR European Cross Country Championships and while the calibre of opposition will be substantially tougher in Kampala, Mechaal will almost certainly improve on his 68th-place finish from two years ago. Based on his current form, he could even be the first European finisher in the senior men’s race.

Spain will be fielding teams in all four races - as well as a mixed relay team - and their senior women’s team is led by Trihas Gebre, who was the top European finisher in Guiyang two years ago in 15th. Gebre won the Spanish cross country title by more than one minute on Sunday.

The British team will be fielding a senior women’s team as well as two junior teams. The junior women’s team features Amelia Quirk and Victoria Weir, who were part of the gold medal-winning team at last year’s Euro Cross in Chia.

Italy are also sending a junior women’s team to Kampala along with a mixed relay team including European finalists Joao Bussotti and Margherita Magnani.