sports gazette

European Cross-Country Championships Review

Gemma Steel coming 2nd individually in the Elite Woman's race.
Published: 9 Dec 2013

British women give a golden shine at European Cross-Country Championships

 Great Britain women continued their recent run of success at the European Cross- Country Championships in Belgrade on Sunday 8th December 2013 by winning the elite, under 23s and junior team events.

The cross-country events involve a mixture of marathon and track athletes with the best four athletes from each country contributing the points to the team event.

Topping the medal table for 5 years in a row this was yet another successful year for Britain’s cross country runners.

Gemma Steel led the way in the Elite Women’s event with a silver medal holding off Portugal’s Dulce Felix with a time of 26 minutes 39 seconds. Local Surrey Athlete and 2012 5000m Olympic finalist Julia Bleasdale made her return to international competition in impressive fashion by finishing seventh.

Lauren Howarth and Steph Twell completed our list of best four athletes by coming eleventh and fifteenth respectively.

Aldershot, Farnham and District’s Emila Gorecka 19, one of Britain’s brightest long distance prospects, won the junior women’s event for the second time. Hook’s Charlotte Purdue got the bronze in the under 23 category.

Meanwhile in the men’s Elite Race the Aldershot, Farnham & District runner Andy Vernon snatched a dramatic bronze medal in a thrilling sprint finish against Belgium’s Jeroen D'Hoedt.

Britain was also able to just pip France for the Bronze medal in the men’s team event. Cumbrian runner Tom Farrell, who missed out on last year's Olympics due to injury finished twelfth. Isle of Man’s Keith Gerrard continued his build up to the Commonwealth Games next year by coming twentieth and Southend’s Adam Hickey, currently training at Loughborough University completed our top four male runners by coming twenty-fifth.

There was further success for the Britain’s men under 23s who comfortably won the team event.

Overall the Great Britain Cross Country Team finished the 2013 athletic season on a high with the men’s team gaining a solid base from which to build on for the Commonwealth Games next year, and perhaps even to catch up with our Golden girls.

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