The 41st edition of the IAAF World Cross Country started at the Kololo Independence ground, in Kampala, Uganda on Sunday.
The event, which attracts 553 athletes from 59 countries and regions, features six categories including juniors and seniors.
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni officially opened the championship and thanked the IAAF for bringing this competition to Uganda. The newly introduced mixed relay is expected to open the competition where two female and two male runners compete against each other.
The Ethiopian and Kenyan teams have promised to dominate the event. Dibaba Genzebe, Ethiopia's star runner told Xinhua before the race that they are prepared and ready to win. "We have trained well and the course at the Kololo Independence ground is looking great," she said.
Although Ethiopia won the last event held in China, the Kenyan team, which will be cheered on by over 200 fans who traveled from Nairobi, have warned that they are here to prove a point.
World Cross Country defending champion from Kenya Geoffrey Kamworor said they are here to capture most of the medals. "We have worked hard and now is the time to show," he added.
"I know this event will be tight. But it will offer me the required endurance to jump start his season," he said.
China have also fielded four male and three female runners.