In-form Irishwoman earns senior women’s victory at IAAF cross-country international
European champion Fionnuala Britton posted another impressive victory as she won the senior women’s race at the IAAF cross-country international in Antrim, Northern Ireland.
Britton clocked 18min 17sec to beat British runner Louise Damen by 12 seconds, with Magdalyne Masai of Kenya third. Linda Byrne, who along with Britton was part of the Irish team that won team gold at the Euro Cross in Budapest last month, was fourth, with Eunice Kales of Kenya fifth, then Freya Murray-Ross and Steph Twell of Scotland.
Thomas Akeyo of Uganda, who was 16th in the Olympic 10,000m final last year, was a runaway winner of the men’s race as he beat David Bett of Kenya, with Brits Andy Vernon, Frank Tickner, Stephen Scullion and Matt Bowser following in a meeting that has IAAF status but also incorporates the latest stage of the McCain UK Cross Challenge series.
In addition, there were local titles up for grabs with the races including the Northern Ireland and Ulster Championships. Here, the senior winners were Gladys Ganiel and Scullion.
In the younger age group races, some long distance travelling paid off. Winners included Katy-Ann McDonald of Herne Hill Harriers and Peter Fegan of Burren AC in the under-13 races, Laura Stark of Kilbarchan AC and Josh Kerr of Edinburgh AC in the under-15 races, Sarah Fitzpatrick of Dundrum South Dublin and Ryan Thompson of Ronhill Cambusland Harriers were the first under-17s home, while Becky Straw of Birchfield and James McMurray of St Albans won the under-20 events.
» See the next issue of Athletics Weekly, out on Thursday January 17, for full coverage.