Ireland’s cross-country Euro stars set to take on the world in Poland

Athletics Ireland High Performance Director Kevin Ankrom last night confirmed that a women’s team will compete at the World Cross Country Championships in Poland next month.

Though Ireland claimed team gold in the European championships in December, there was huge doubt about the availability of members of that team for the event in Bydgoszcz. 

However Ankrom last night revealed that Fionnuala Britton, Linda Byrne, Ava Hutchinson and Lizzie Lee have all been pre-selected. 

Mary Cullen has also been provisionally pre-selected after her 25:55secs course record at the Axa Raheny 5 mile race last month leaving one remaining place. 

The final cut-off date for selection will be March 11 with no specific trial for selection. 

“We are in the business of winning medals so certainly there is the option to try and win a medal there,” said Ankrom. 

“That’s what we wanted to do in the Europeans. That’s what we want to go here for. 

“Certainly I don’t think it’s out of range to say that we want to get top eight, top five or get a medal. Again if everything is going well, we have seen teams [medal] outside of Ethiopia and Kenya. 

“I think we are the best team in Europe going in. Surely we should have a crack at it? 

“Am I guaranteeing medals? No, but I’m saying there is opportunities and possibilities that if we run well on the day we could get a medal. That’s why we’re there. We want to win medals.” 

Teresa McDaid, who managed the team to success in Budapest before Christmas, has been confirmed as team manager again for the trip to Poland. She said: “I am delighted that we are now going to go to the world cross country championships. 

“I’ve spoken to the team and they are all excited and all on board.”

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