ATHLETICS: Tom Lancashire will face his two biggest rivals in a televised race a week tomorrow.

The 24-year-old Bolton middle distance star will line up against Mo Farah and Andy Baddeley at the Great Edinburgh International Cross-Country Race.

The race, at Holyrood Park, Edinburgh, is the highlight of the cross-country season in Britain and features some of the world’s top runners.

Bolton Harrier Lancashire has finished third for the last two seasons and is looking to improve on that showing after a better-than-expected start to his winter season.

Baddeley has got the better of him in the past at Edinburgh, and he will be competing against Farah in the race for the first time.

The former Turton High School student from Bromley Cross is again using the cross-country season to gain strength ahead of the track season where his main focus this year will be on the European Championships 1,500m at Barcelona in July.

He and Baddeley have represented Great Britain at the 1,500m at both the Olympic Games two years ago and last year’s World Championships, and both will be looking to do the same at the Europeans next summer.

Lancashire took over from Baddeley as Britain’s number one last season when he set a new personal best of 3:34.29 before he was pushed back to second in the rankings when Farah ran faster.

Farah is a specialist long distance runner and surprised the domestic scene when he went to number one.

He will probably start favourite at Edinburgh, although Lancashire believes he can come higher than his previous third-place finishes after a confidence-boosting race at the Northern 10k Championships on Sunday.

He set a new course record and a new personal best over a tough course at the Ribble Valley race to set him up for the televised showdown between him, Baddeley and Farah.

He said: “I surprised myself at the Northern 10k. It showed I am in good shape and I’m going to be trying to improve on third at Edinburgh this year.

“Mo Farah running this year will make it all the more interesting, and it will be a good race with Andy Baddeley there and all the usual runners from previous years.”