The 39th IAAF World Cross Country Championships take place on Sunday 20th March in Punta Umbria (pop.15,000) , province of Huelva, Spain. For any Irish fans wishing to attend the nearest airport is Seville some 110 kms away.
The Irish Team is:
Junior Men – Shane Quinn (Ferrybank AC)
Senior Women – Fionnuala Britton (Kilcoole AC) & Ava Hutchinson (Dundrum South Dublin AC)
18 year old Shane Quinn has been in excellent form this winter over the country. Quinn claimed the Aviva All Ireland Schools Cross Country Senior Boys title on Saturday last , and took the Junior men Inter Clubs gold medal in Santry three weeks ago.
26 year old Fionnuala Britton finished in 4th place at the European Cross Country Championships in Portugal last December, and was second in the Almond Blossom cross country invitational also in Portugal a week ago.
27 year old Ava Hutchinson is based at Loughborough in England and won the Woodie’s DIY Inter Clubs XC is style in February in Santry. She represented Ireland in the U23 race at the European championships over the same course two years ago and has competed in the world junior championships twice.
11:30 Junior Women (6km)
12:00 Junior Men (8km)
12:45 Senior Women (8km)
13:40 Senior Men (12km)
The United Kingdom is sending a 23 strong squad ( 9 men and 14 women) but in general the number of European competitors is way down from what it used to be before the dominance of the Kenyans and Ethiopians.
Anne-Keenan Buckley, Irish Team Manager for Punta Umbria commented: :
“The World Cross Country Championships is being moved to a biennial fixture from 2011. The dominance of the Kenyan and East African runners has led to a decline in the number of European teams being entered in this event, and some historically strong countries are sending no athletes. I feel it is important that we continue to have representation at these championships and this year we are sending three athletes who I feel will be very competitive in their respective event, and I am confident that they will lead the European challenge.”