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Birmingham Taking On Top Talent In Chiba

Australia's top cross-country runner will square off against Japan's best.

Australia’s top cross-country runner will square off against Japan’s best.

On February 10, the 48th annual Chiba Cross Country, an IAAF Cross Country Permit meeting, kicks off in Showa Woods, Japan.

For Japanese runners, this is a very important event as it serves as the qualifier for the IAAF World Cross Country Championships that take place in  Bydgoszcz, Poland.

In the men’s 12K race, five non-Japanese runners have been invited to take part.

Collis Birmingham of Australia is the top seed. Last Sunday, he won the Marugame Half Marathon. Alistair Cragg is also entered, but his showing at the Marugame half was lackluster (36th overall).

Other invited non-Japanese runners include Nikolay Chavkin of Russia, Youssef El Kalai of Portugal,Tsetserukou Ihar of Belarus.

A total of nine races will occur: the men’s 12K, women’s 8K, junior men’s 8K, and junior women’s 5K.

In the women’s 8K race, invited non-Japanese runners include Alena Berasniova of Belarus and Sara Pinho of Portugal.

For More: IAAF