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World cross country champion to compete at Billy Neill Country Park

Current world cross country champion, Hellen Obiri, will compete at this weekend’s Northern Ireland International Cross Country this weekend (Saturday 22nd January) at the Billy Neill MBE Country Park, Dundonald.

Current world cross country champion, Hellen Obiri, will compete at this weekend’s Northern Ireland International Cross Country this weekend (Saturday 22nd January) at the Billy Neill MBE Country Park, Dundonald
Current world cross country champion, Hellen Obiri, will compete at this weekend’s Northern Ireland International Cross Country this weekend (Saturday 22nd January) at the Billy Neill MBE Country Park, Dundonald

The 32 year old Kenyan will be competing in the 8k event against a sprinkling of International athletes.

The Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council supported event, is part of the World Athletics Silver Cross Country Tour and incorporates the Celtic Games, Home Countries and British Cross Challenge.

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The event, which has been staged since 1979, is the first International Cross Country in the province since 2019 due to cancellations caused by Covid restrictions.

Hellen has been one of the most outstanding athletes of her generation and is currently showing no signs of restricting her programme.

She took the last World Cross Country title over a mud strewn course in Aarhus, Denmark with a two seconds victory over Dera Didi from Ethiopia.

However, her main achievements have related to the track where she has enjoyed consistent success at the highest level in recent years. This has included two World titles over 5,000m in London in 2017 and also in Doha in 2019.

Hellen also has two Olympic silver medals to her credit from Rio in 2016 and Tokyo last year.

Helen’s last UK appearance was last September when she won the Great North Run in Gateshead .
Meeting organiser John Allen has expressed delight at the appearance of athletes of this calibre. He said: “While the International Cross Country here has always attracted classy athletes from abroad it is particularly gratifying that we have got the services of such a star athlete as Hellen Obiri especially given the ongoing difficulties created by Covid concerning international travel.

“With her win in the last world cross, Hellen has shown that she has the versatility to beat the best in the world over either track or cross country.

The names of other key athletes taking part in this meeting will be announced shortly.

For more information on the Northern Ireland International Cross Country, including directions to the venue and live streaming links, please see here: https://athleticsni.org/Fixtures/World-Athletics-Northern-Ireland-International-Cross-Country.