Jones reflects on Britton’s facile win in Antwerp
Fionnuala Britton ensured her selection for the European Cross
Country Championships yesterday with a comfortable victory at the Lotto
Cross Cup in Antwerp, Belgium.
National endurance coach Chris Jones, and personal coach to Britton, described her run as a “solid performance.”
A team of Irish athletes travelled to Antwerp with the opportunity to
gain pre-selection for the European Cross Country Championships in
Serbia, Belgrade on December 8 if they could achieve a top 8 placing –
only one individual per category.
“Fionnuala had a solid performance,” said Jones. “She was told to do a hard workout. We’re delighted with that.
liked to have had a higher quality field. The field wasn’t as strong as
we’d expected. That was a little disappointing but it was still an
Conditions were difficult on a sandy surface but the light-footed
Britton had no difficulties in running to victory. Sara Treacy was the
best of the rest in fourth.
“I think she’s strong,” continued
Jones on Britton’s current form. “She’s very conditioned and probably needs some
quality sessions and definitely a quality race prior to the Europeans.”
West Waterford’s David McCarthy was best of the senior men with a
solid fourth place finish and thus also securing pre-selection for the
“I think in general it was always going to be mixed (the results) with the surface,” said Jones of the course that is predominantly on a man-made beach with some breaks into a forest.
“Sara Treacy behind her in fourth was good. And the other girls coming into an international race were good as well. It’s part of the process – all part of the building.
“On the men’s side of things we had two good runs there with David McCarthy six seconds off second place. And Mark Hanrahan showing some strength in 10th place.
“Then the rest of the guys were a little bit disappointing in dealing with the surface but you cant be too critical. Some can and some can’t run on that type of surface. You’ve got to accept it.
“You see some people running really well on Gerry Farnan and then not running well on that course. There’s probably a lesson learned there today, who should go and who shouldn’t go.
“Siofra Cleirigh Buttner had a brilliant run. The junior boys were good with Aaron Hanlon and Con Doherty. Add in Sean Tobin and that junior team is good.”
The county championships also took place yesterday with some of the most notable victories being Lizzie Lee (Leevale) in Cork, John Travers (Donore) in Dublin and the return of Gary Murray (St Malachy’s) in Donegal.
The Dublin Cross Country Championships which were held in St Anne’s Park in Raheny had a sparse attendance but there was decent racing with Travers edging Stephen Scullion (Clonliffe) and Sarah Mulligan (DSD) overcoming Aoife Talty (Raheny) in the women’s.