•Chebet triumphed in the Atapuerca two weeks ago and will be looking for her first victory here after her runner-up place in 2020 and a third place the following year.
•The men’s 9.9km contest looks set to be a three-way battle between the Kenyan pair of Ronald Kwemoi and Ishmael Kipkurui plus Burundi's Rodrigue Kwizera.
World cross country champion Beatrice Chebet leads a competitive field for the Cross Internacional de Itálica in Santiponce on Sunday.
Chebet triumphed in the Atapuerca two weeks ago and will be looking for her first victory here after her runner-up place in 2020 and a third place the following year.
The world 5000m bronze medallist will be joined by compatriot Edinah Jebitok, who was eighth at the World Cross in Bathurst and third in Atapuerca.
The 1500m specialist was also a clear winner in San Sebastian last weekend.
World U20 cross-country champion Senayet Getachew and fellow Ethiopian Wede Kefale – who was 15th in the senior women’s race at this year’s World Cross – will also be in contention for a podium place.
Uganda's Anne Chelangat, 13th at the World Cross and third last week in San Sebastián, is another strong contender.
World and Olympic finalist Nadia Battocletti will be racing in Santiponce for the first time. She recently placed fifth in the 5km at the World Road Running Championships in Riga, finishing just 10 seconds shy of Chebet, so will be trying her best to stay in contention with the Kenyan on Sunday.
The line-up also includes Spanish steeplechasers Irene Sánchez-Escribano and Carolina Robles plus European U20 cross-country champion María Forero and Britain's Amelia Quirk, who was 25th in Bathurst.
The men’s 9.9km contest looks set to be a three-way battle between the Kenyan pair of Ronald Kwemoi and Ishmael Kipkurui plus Burundi's Rodrigue Kwizera.
The 28-year-old Kwemoi will compete for the third consecutive time on Spanish ground after his runner-up spot in Atapuerca two weeks ago and a narrow win over Kipkurui last Sunday in San Sebastián.
On that occasion, world U20 cross-country champion Kipkurui pushed hard for most of the race but he couldn't avoid being overtaken by world U20 1500m record-holder Kwemoi in a thrilling sprint finish with the two men being separated by one second.
Their Kenyan compatriot Hillary Chepkwoni, fresh from a huge PB of 58:53 at the Valencia Half Marathon three weeks ago, will also be on the start line.
Kwizera, co-winner of the 2022-2023 World Cross Country Tour, finished eighth at the World Cross Country Championships in Bathurst at the start of 2023.
More recently he placed third in Atapuerca where he was beaten by Kwemoi over the closing stages but grabbed an easy victory last weekend in his Spanish base of Castellón at a low-key cross country race.
Eritrea’s Aron Kifle, the 2018 world half marathon bronze medallist, will be making his 2023 cross country debut on Sunday. He’ll be joined by compatriot Merhawi Mebrahtu, the world U20 5000m silver medallist, who finished second in Amorebieta and ninth in Atapuerca the following week.
Uganda’s 2022 world 5000m bronze medallist Oscar Chelimo, who recently finished third in San Sebastian, will contend for a top-five finish on Sunday. The 21-year-old will be joined by his compatriot Martin Kiprotich, who finished 18th at the World Cross in Bathurst.
The Spanish contingent will be headed by Mohamed Katir. The world 5000m silver medallist has been training in the altitude of Sierra Nevada since mid-October and will be back there right after the race for another week. He has planned a quiet cross-country campaign with only a few appearances.