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Irish women take bronze at European Cross Country championships

Fionnuala McCormack came home in fourth to help earn third spot for the team.

Caroline Crowley, Kerry O'Flaherty, Ciara Durkan, bottom row from left, Lizzie Lee, Fionnuala McCormack, and Michelle Finn.
Caroline Crowley, Kerry O'Flaherty, Ciara Durkan, bottom row from left, Lizzie Lee, Fionnuala McCormack, and Michelle Finn.

IRELAND’S WOMEN TEAM have finished third at the European Cross Country championships in Hyeres in France.

Fionnuala McCormack just missed out on an individual medal, coming home in fourth spot.

It’s the second year on the trot that Ireland’s senior women’s team have earned bronze.

Lizzie Lee was 13th, Caroline Crowley took 23rd and Ciara Durkan was 46th in what was easily good enough for third spot overall, behind Great Britain and hosts France.

Spain and Italy were fourth and fifth respectively.

“When you cross the line fourth you’re obviously going to be disappointed but when you turn around and see happy, exhausted faces at least you’ve gotten something out of it,” said McCormack.

“Coming fourth means something for the team for points so it’s not just about me. I can be disappointed on the one hand but on the other we do come away with a team medal and it’s all about the team in cross country.”

Mick Clohisey (Raheny Shamrock) was the first senior man home in the 10km with a 37th place finish in 31:11 with the team finishing 11th overall. Turkey’s Ali Kaya won in 29:20.

“I got out fast but the pace is relentless,” said Clohisey. “You’re competing against guys with great track times and I’ve been focusing on the marathon which is completely different. It was tough but I’ll be back.”

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