Golden Girls Lead GB to Victory in Edinburgh
Round up of Bupa X- Cross Country Championships in Edinburgh
Team GB started the 2014 season by coming in first in front of Europe and the United States at Bupa X-Cross Country Championships.
Victory was clinched in the Woman’s 6km race by team captain Gemma Steel, who finished second at European Cross Country Championships last month. She defeated notable athletes such as Ireland’s Fionnuala Britton, who came second, running for Europe and in the past has won multiple European Cross Country titles. Sophie Durate the current European Cross-Country champion finished down in fifth.
Emelia Gorecka of GB capped off an impressive senior debut by hanging on to take third place. She had already won the European juniors and this was an impressive transition to the big leagues of senior distance running that promises a bright future in the sport.
After the race Gemma Steel added “Nobody wanted to take the race on because it was really blustery. I’m pleased Emelia stayed with me, even on her senior debut, and we helped each other out and worked together. It was great that the senior women could take care of business at the end and get the overall team victory.”
Great Britain also had 4 of the top 5 finishers in the Junior woman’s race, the Clay sisters finishing in the top 2 with younger sibling Bobby defeating Alex.
In the Senior Men’s 8km race male team captain Andy Vernon continued his good form from the Europeans by adding a silver medal to the bronze he picked up in Belgrade last month. Chris Derrick of America won the race; Johnny Hay was the next British male finisher in tenth place.
However, the Great Britain junior men were unable to match the success of their female counterparts. Alex George was the first placed Briton coming in eighth place. The race itself was dominated by the European athletes, won by Alexis Meillet.
The Elite men’s invitational 4km meanwhile provided a notable shock where American Garrett Heath was able to take the scalps of cross- country and long distance great Kenenisa Bekele, who finished down in fifth and World 1500m champion Asbel Kiprop of Kenya finishing third. Kenenisa is preparing for the Paris marathon in April and did defeat Mo Farah in a thrilling Great North Run in September last year. Chris Thompson was the first British finisher coming home in sixth.
Once more the British Golden Girls have dominated the event with some promising performances to look back on. Whilst for their male counterparts there is certainly some catching up to do.