Fionnuala Britton shows off her European gold medal last December. ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy
gold standard

Fionnuala Britton to test her form at IAAF cross country international in Spain

The European champion leads a strong Irish challenge at the Sunday meet in Burgos.

WICKLOW’S FIONNUALA BRITTON will lead a strong Irish challenge at this weekend’s IAAF Cross Country International in Burgos, Spain

The reigning European Cross Country Champion, from Kilcoole Athletic Club, will test herself against some of the world’s best cross country runners at the event on Sunday.

Britton kicked off her season three weeks ago with an impressive victory at the Gerry Farnan promotion at the Phoenix Park.

On Sunday, she will face Linet Masai of Kenyan who has captured the silver medal at the last three World Cross Country Championships.

Her major target this season, she declares, will be the European Cross Country Championships in Budapest next month.

She is hoping that an Irish women’s team can make a serious impact and perhaps chase medals at the championships. Britton said:

The team effort is what cross country is really about. I am hopeful that we will be able to have a strong women’s team at the championships.

“It is always harder to defend your individual title than to win it in the first place but I will be preparing for the race in much the same way as I did last year.”

Britton will be joined on the start line in Spain by Olympic marathon representative Ava Hutchinson (Dundrum South Dublin AC) and Clonliffe Harrier AC athlete Sarah McCormack.

Irish men up against Ethopian world champ

David McCarthy (West Waterford AC) will lead the Irish representative’s in the senior men’s race on Sunday.

McCarthy will face a top quality field in Burgos which includes reigning World Cross Country Champion Imane Merga of Ethiopia.

Michael Mulhare (North Laois A.C), Eddie McGinley (Annadale Striders) and Andrew Agnew (Abbey AC) will join McCarthy in the race.

Sean Tobin (Clonmel AC) is the sole Irish representative in the junior men’s race.

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