The world athletics federation has decided to limit the annual cross country world championships to a biennial event.

The IAAF congress decided on the move on Wednesday with a 132-22 vote.

Cross country has lost popularity to road racing over the past few years and top distance racers often disregard the traditional event.

The event has previously been held every year, but was already downgraded when the short-course race was cut in 2007.

The cross country championships have been dominated by Ethiopian and Kenyan runners over the past 20 years. The arrival of African runners broke the long domination of Europeans and Americans in the sport.

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