Campaccio Cross Country: A showdown between Barega and Gebrhiwet

Selemon Barega leads the men’s race at the Cinque Mulini (Giancarlo Colombo

Ethiopian stars Selemon Barega and Hagos Gebrhiwet are set to return to action at the 62nd edition of the Campaccio Cross Country, an IAAF Permit meeting race, in San Giorgio su Legnano on Sunday.

Barega, who came to the fore at age 16 when he captured the world U20 5000m title in 2016, won his first IAAF cross country race two years ago on Italian soil when taking the Cinque Mulini title in San Vittore Olona. That win was a launch pad for the teenager, who went on to win the world U18 3000m title later that year before his notable fifth place finish over 5000m at the World Championships in London.

His outing on Sunday will be his first since his sensational 12:43.02 performance at the IAAF Diamond League final in Brussels where he became the fourth fastest 5000m runner of all-time. He’ll be looking to add his name to the prestigious list of Campaccio winners which include Ethiopian legends Haile Gebrselassie (1994), Kenenisa Bekele (2002 and 2004) and more recently Muktar Edris (2013 and 2017).

Barega will face off against compatriot Gebrhiwet for the third time in his career. Their first meeting came at the IAAF World Indoor Championships Birmingham 2018 where Barega was second and Gebrhiwet fourth in the 3000m, and their second in Brussels where Gebrhiwet finished behind Barega in 12:45.82 to become history’s fifth fastest man.

Gebrhiwet, 24, the 2016 Olympic 5000m bronze medallist, has also achieved success in cross country, taking world U20 gold in 2013 and finishing fourth as a senior in 2015.

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