A new generation of middle-distance runners will be in the spotlight at the 85th edition of the Cinque Mulini in San Vittore Olona on Sunday (22), the penultimate meeting of the 2016/2017 IAAF Cross Country Permit series.
Ethiopia’s world U20 5000m champion Selemon Barega, who has a PB of 13:21.21 in his specialist event, will be looking to continue his country’s proud tradition in this race, following in the footsteps of his illustrious compatriots Fita Bayesa (winner from 1992-1995), Kenenisa Bekele (winner in 2002) and Muktar Edris (winner in 2013 and 2015).
Barega, who turned 17 on 20 January, won the EA Cross de l’Acier in Leffrinckoucke two months ago. This weekend’s event will be his second race on Italian soil; last September he won the 5000m in Rovereto in 13:24.06.
JUNIOR CHAMPIONS GO HEAD TO HEAD
The women’s race will feature a clash between two young Ethiopian runners who struck gold at the IAAF World U20 Championships Bydgoszcz 2016.
Kalkidan Fentie won the 5000m in Bydgoszcz last year while her compatriot Beyenu Degefa triumphed over 3000m. This will be their first race against one another but Degefa starts as the slight favourite after impressing with victories in two high-quality cross-country races in France in November.
Alemitu Hawi will be looking to improve on her runner-up finish from last year’s Cinque Mulini. The 2014 world U20 5000m silver medallist finished third at last weekend’s Vallagarina cross-country race in Rovereto.