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Boost for Irish athletics as Dublin wins bid to host European Cross Country

The event will come to the National Sports Campus in Abbotstown in 2020.

ATHLETICS IRELAND HAS today won the bid to host the 2020 European Cross Country Championships, with the event set to be staged at the purpose-built track in Abbotstown.

It will be the second time the annual championships comes to Dublin, but the first major international running event to be hosted at the Sport Ireland National Sports Campus.

A general view of the Boys U18 and Junior Men race The national cross country track in Abbotstown. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Athletics Ireland, alongside Sport Ireland and Fingal County Council, today presented its bid to the European Athletics Council in Budapest, with the event set to take place on 13 December 2020 and shown live on RTÉ television.

Ireland has a strong pedigree in the European Cross Country Championships with Catherina McKiernan and Fionnuala Britton past winners of the senior women’s race.

In addition to the men’s and women’s senior races, athletes compete in the U23 and junior events, with 34 nations represented each year. 

After the successful hosting of the championships in Santry in 2009, Athletics Ireland will be confident of delivering an excellent event at the national cross country track, which was opened in late 2016.

The main loop of the track on the Sport Ireland campus measures 1,500 metres, with separate start and finish straights as well as two additional loops to enable different course routes and distances through both grassland and wooded areas. 

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Sport Ireland chief executive, John Treacy, welcomed today’s news: “This is a great example of agencies coming together to showcase Ireland as a top destination for major sporting events. We look forward to working with Athletics Ireland and the other partners to deliver an excellent event here on the Sport Ireland National Sports Campus, which will be broadcast right across Europe.

I would like to pay tribute to Athletics Ireland Chief Executive, Hamish Adams, bid coordinator Liam Hennessy and all involved with the bid on their hard work in securing the championships for Ireland.

The 2018 edition, which takes place on 9 December, is being staged in Tilburg, Netherlands. 

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Ryan Bailey

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