East African athletes will be tough to beat at inaugural World Road Running Champs on October 1 as the entries are revealed

From Angola and Australia to Uruguay and Ukraine, the inaugural World Road Running Championships have attracted entries from 350 athletes from 57 teams.

Faith Kipyegon, the world 1500m and 5000m champion and world record-holder, leads a strong Kenyan squad, while world half-marathon record-holder Jacob Kiplimo heads the Ugandan challenge.

Ethiopia, of course, is also bringing a top-class team to the Latvian capital of Riga on October 1, including world 1500m silver medallist Diribe Welteji and world 5km record-holders Berihu Aregawi and Ejgayehu Taye as the athletes tackle races over one mile, 5km and the half-marathon.

Sadly Jakob Ingebrigtsen is not in the four-strong Norwegian team. The host nation of Latvia is also missing talented European under-20 champion Agate Caune due to a minor injury in its 14-strong squad.

Generally the event is being supported by teams from all around the world with the United States bringing 18 athletes, whereas 16 runners from Australia are making the long trip to Europe, 12 from Canada and nine from Japan.

The British team have a dozen athletes in Riga and you can see the team here.

Women’s mile

Faith Kipyegon will start as strong favourite at the end of a stellar season that has seen her break world records for 1500m, one mile on the track and 5000m in addition to winning two world titles in Budapest. She is joined in the Kenyan team by Nelly Chepchirchir and world steeplechase record-holder Beatrice Chepkoech.

World 1500m silver medallist Diribe Welteji will hope to challenge along with her Ethiopian team-mates Freyweyni Hailu and Mirut Meshesha.

Elsewhere, Jess Hull of Australia will aim to be in the mix while the US challenge includes rising star Addison Wiley.

Beatrice Chebet (Getty)

Women’s 5km

World cross-country champion Beatrice Chebet has enjoyed a superb track season and is joined in Riga by fellow Kenyans Lilian Rengeruk and Caroline Nyaga.

The Ethiopians are a force to be reckoned with, though, with Medina Eisa, Lemlem Hailu and mixed race world 5km record-holder Ejgayehu Taye.

Watch out for Ugandans Peruth Chemutai, Joy Cheptoyek and Prisca Chesang too.

Elsewhere, contenders include Nadia Battocletti of Italy, Nozomi Tanaka of Japan and Americans Emily Infeld and Weini Kelati.

Peres Jepchirchir (Dan Vernon)

Women’s half-marathon

Peres Jepchirchir won the Great North Run this month and the Olympic marathon champion leads the Kenyan challenge along with Janeth Chepngetich, Irine Jepchumba Kimais, Margaret Chelimo Kipkemboi and Catherine Relin.

Jepchirchir is also the reigning champion after winning in Gdynia in 2020 in a women-only world record of 65:16.

The Ethiopian squad includes Mestawut Fikir, Yalemget Yarehal, Ftaw Zeray and world cross-country silver medallist Tsigie Gebreselama, while Uganda has Annet Chemengich Chelangat and Belinda Chemutai.

READ MORE: AW’s Riga 2023 coverage

Germany hopes rest with Konstanze Klosterhalfen, who ran 65:41 on her half-marathon debut last year, and Alina Reh, while the US team includes Sara Hall, Molly Grabill and Sarah Pagano.

Watch out for Sam Harrison as well, as the ever-improving Brit moves into the autumn road racing season.

Samantha Harrison (SCC Events)

Men’s mile

Sam Prakel tentatively holds the world record with 4:01.21 but it is a new world record event in 2023 so you can expect to see this beaten in Riga.

Prakel is in the US team, too, with Hobbs Kessler. The Kenyan challenge is led by Reynold Kipkorir Cheruiyot, with Ethiopian Teddese Lemi also looking to make an impact.

Many of the world’s top milers have decided to give this inaugural world title opportunity a miss, though.

Berihu Aregawi (Getty)

Men’s 5km

Ethiopian trio of world 5km record-holder Berihu Aregawi, Yomif Kejelcha and Hagos Gebrhiwet have impressed on the track this summer and will be tough to beat on the roads of Riga.

The Kenyan challenge includes Nicholas Kipkorir, Cornelius Kemboi and Stanley Waithaka Mburu, with Ugandan runners Leonard Chemutai, Kenneth Kiprop and Dismas Yeko also likely to be in the mix.

Stewart McSweyn has shown a good return to form lately and will hope to make an impact for Australia.

Yomif Kejelcha (right) and Jacob Kiplimo (Getty)

Men’s half-marathon

World record-holder and 2020 world half-marathon champion Jacob Kiplimo is the man to beat and Uganda will also be going for team gold with Abel Chebet, Ali Chebures, Josea Kiplangat and Andrew Rotich Kwemoi.

The Kenyan team won gold last time in Gdynia in 2020 and this time they have sub-59min runner Sabastian Sawe, world 10,000m runner-up Daniel Ebenyo, Benard Kibet, Charles Kipkirui Langat and Samwel Nyamai Mailu in their team.

Ethiopia is represented by Dinkalem Ayele, Tsegay Kidanu, Jemal Yimer Mekonnen and Nibret Melak.

Watch out too for European record-holder Jimmy Gressier of France and European marathon champion Richard Ringer of Germany, plus British trials winner Jack Rowe.

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