Following a mass relay race for students at the start of the morning, the women’s 20km opens the championships properly on Sunday at 11.00hrs local time (09.00 GMT), offering the home spectators the best chance of individual success. 29-year-old Anikó Kálovics is a multiple Hungarian national champion and record holder, with PBs of 15:29 (5k), 31:42 (10k), 49:24 (15k) and 69:16 (HM). With experience of two Olympic Games at 10,000m, and a fifth place at the European Cross Country Championships last year, she should be aiming for a top-10 finish, and may well be inspired on home territory.
The name of two World track champions loom large over the entry list. However, the participation of Ethiopia’s Berhane Adere (2003 World 10,000m champion) and Uganda’s Dorcus Inzikuru (2005 3000m World Steeplechase champion) is in doubt. The former, who also won the World Half Marathon title in 2002, has reportedly withdrawn following her half marathon victory in Newcastle last weekend, while the Ugandan has recently suffered a serious allergy attack and is said to be unfit to race.