Fionnuala Britton finished in third place at the IAAF Lotto Cross Cup in Brusselson Sunday. Britton was in control for most of the race and was looking sharper than her outing at the European Cross Country Championships in Belgrade when she finished fourth.
The Wicklow woman was in a winning position in the closing stages before Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands (formerly Ethiopia) came through to win in 19 minutes and 38 seconds, five seconds ahead of Britton. Hassan demonstrated her cross country credentials in recent weeks by winning the under-23 title at the European Championships. Zewdnesh Ayele of Ethiopia, was second, with Britton third – just one second behind.
Britton will face another strong field at the IAAF Greenmount Cross Country International at Antrim on January 4th.
Great Britain’s recently crowned European silver medallist Gemma Steel, team mate European U23 bronze medallist Charlotte Purdue and Bahrain’s Maryam Jamal, the 1500m Bronze medallist from the London Olympics are all set to line up.
Joining Britton will be Sarah Treacy who finished 31st and Ciara Durkan who placed 36th in Belgrade and Ann-Maire McGlynn.
Brothers Michael and Dan Mulhare will line up in the Men’s race. Michael led the Irish Men’s Senior Team home in Belgrade in 15th place. Their sister Mary will race in the Women U23’s as part of the Celtic International Cross Country Match. The final member of the Men’s Team is Mick Clohissey.
Sean Tobin fresh from his top 10 performance in the Junior Men’s Race in Belgrade will compete for the first time in the U23 ranks.
Athletics Ireland will also be sending a U23, Junior and Youth Teams to compete in the Celtic International Cross Country Match
Britton will complete her IAAF cross country race series when she lines up the <strong>Great Edinburgh Cross Country on January 11th, a race that she has won in the previous two years. She will have to face the reigning European Cross Country Champion, Sophie Duarte of France.