The first Australian athletes to qualify for the World Athletics Cross Country Championships have visited the course in Bathurst today, just over a month out from the event.

Deputy Premier, Minister for Regional NSW and Member for Bathurst Paul Toole is encouraging the public to be part of the world-class event by registering for one of the participation races, by signing up a school or club to run the same course as the professionals or booking a spectator ticket on the iconic home straight at Mount Panorama.

“Bathurst is known for adrenaline-fuelled sporting achievements, and the World Athletics Cross Country Championships will be right at home at Mount Panorama with more than 500 athletes competing from 68 nations,” Mr Toole said.

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“It’s wonderful to have members of team Australia visit the course ahead of the February 18 event, and the entire community looks forward to cheering them on when they take to the starting line to compete for a World Championship title.”

On top of the mass participation and elite events, the World Athletics Cross Country Championships Bathurst 2023 will also include the first-ever World Masters Short Course Cross Country Championships. This will be the first time a World Masters Athletics event has been integrated with a World Athletics Cross Country Championships.

Minister for Tourism Ben Franklin said the event formed part of the NSW Government’s 10 World Cups in 10 Years strategy.

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“We’re thrilled the World Athletics Cross Country Championships will be held in regional NSW, showcasing Bathurst and the Central West to athletes, officials, media and supporters from around the globe,” Mr Franklin said.

“The NSW Government is committed to cementing the State’s position as the major events capital of the Asia Pacific and providing a return to businesses engaged in the visitor economy by attracting as many visitors to the State as possible.”

NSW Nationals MLC Scott Barrett said the region had a lot to offer visitors.

“Anyone who comes to the Central West for this exciting event will certainly be impressed by the world-class hospitality of the region, the classic Australian country landscape and the warmth of the local people,” Mr Barrett said.

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“This isn’t just a win for Bathurst. I hope visitors and athletes alike will take the chance to explore the region, try food from our pubs, cafes and restaurants, and take in everything that Bathurst has to offer.”

World Athletics Cross Country Championships Bathurst 2023 General Manager Richard Welsh said professional entries for the event were strong.

“It’s shaping up to be an outstanding field of the world’s best athletes with Olympians, past medal winners and 68 countries registered already for fans to cheer from the sidelines – but this event is also for everyone to come out and have a go,” Mr Welsh said.