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Kenenisa Bekele Confirms He Will Skip 2007 World XCs
By Elshadai Negash and David Monti
(c) 2006 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved
November 24, 2006

Kenenisa Bekele, who has swept both the long and short cross titles at the last five editions of the IAAF World Cross Country Championships, has confirmed that he will not line up when these championships return to a one-day format in Mombasa, Kenya, next March.

"I have said no to the World Cross Country championships and I have not changed my mind," he said today.  "I had enough. It is time for new blood to take over."

Bekele had indicated last April that public pressure could change his decision.

The Ethiopian star is not turning his back on cross country entirely, however.  He is slated to face Craig Mottram at the Great Edinburgh International Cross Country on January 13, before turning his attention to indoor track.

"I want to run fast times over the 2 mile and the 3000m," he said.

The 35th IAAF World Cross Country Championships are scheduled for Saturday, March 24 in Mombasa.  This will be the first time the meet will be held in Africa since it was held in Marrakesh, Morocco, in 1998.

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