Former champ recovers from injury to focus on world cross country

NAIROBI, Nov. 6 (Xinhua) — Former champion Joseph Ebuya will return to competition after three years of injury and loss of form, aiming to reclaim the world cross country championship in Denmark in March.

Ebuya, 31, has doubts if he will ever compete again after he tore his tendon and incurred a knee injury that saw him miss three years of competition.

He returned to action early this year, competing at the Lisbon Marathon, his debut 42km race, but was a pale shadow of his past as he finished in position 13, clocking a slow time of 2:33:48.

“I have been preparing very well and my training has been good. I want to prove my running prowess to my critics that I still have enough strength to dominate the athletics circuit. I have been out for long but I want to do my best,” said Ebuya on Tuesday from Nanyuki.

Ebuya will start his cross country campaign in Spain at the Cross Internacional de Atapuerca meeting and will be up against Eritrea’s Aron Kifle and Spain’s Javier Guerra, Ethiopians Imane Merga and defending champion Getaneh Molla.

Ethiopians Senbere Teferi and Belaynesh Oljira have been pre-announced and they will be joined by Portugal’s Sara Moreira.

Cross country running has been penciled to make its return to the Olympic Games in Tokyo after it last featured in the 1924 at the Games in Paris.

It has already made its debut at this year’s Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina in a new and innovative format.

The new format will see runners compete in both a track competition and cross country, with the two times merged.

The placings of athletes in each individual event and in the cross-country race will be added to determine the overall final placings with the athlete having the lowest total score being the overall winner.

“It has long been our desire to see cross country running back in the Olympic Games,” said IAAF President Sebastian Coe.

“We see the inclusion of cross country in the program for the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires as the first step towards its return to the main program of the Olympic Games.”

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