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59 countries & regions set for World Cross Country meet in Uganda

IANS logoIANS 22-03-2017

Beatrice Ayikoru, secretary general of the Uganda Athletics Federation, told Xinhua news agency on Tuesday that after the final closing date, they have now confirmed 59 nations and regions and 553 athletes in total.

"United Arab Emirates had shown interest but they did not submit their final entry, while Iraq had confirmed but did not make the final entry. Egypt and Cameroon that were not in the preliminary entry also entered," said Ayikoru.

The event scheduled for March 26 will attract both senior and junior athletes.

Ayikoru said Uganda will field a strong team because they must ensure the medals remain at home. The hosts expect stiff competition from the likes of Kenya, Ethiopia and Eritrea which have world stars.

Meanwhile, athletes have started arriving in Uganda ahead of the championships scheduled to take place here on March 26.

Team Australia was the first to arrive ahead of the event which takes place in the capital Kampala. "The 23-man team of Australia has arrived," Ayikoru said.

A total of $310,000 cash prizes await the leading runners in the senior races at the biennial event, which is the oldest event in the IAAF world series.

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