British Athletics names team to take on Europe and the USA in January

Mo Farah and Gemma Steel are to form part of the Great Britain and Northern Ireland team that will take on Europe and the USA at the Great Edinburgh Cross Country on January 10.

It will be double Olympic, world and European track champion Farah’s first cross country appearance since winning at this event in 2011, while Steel will compete fresh from her victory at the European Cross Country Championships in Bulgaria.

Farah will be joined in the senior men’s team by 11 of the British athletes that were in action at last weekend’s Euro Cross including under-23 men’s team silver medallists Jonathan Davies, Will Gray, Callum Hawkins, Jonny Hay and Charlie Hulson.

Steel heads to Holyrood Park as the defending champion, having won the senior women’s race by nine seconds from Ireland’s Fionnuala Britton earlier this year. Kate Avery, who finished a close second behind Steel in Bulgaria, has returned to the USA to continue her studies, but under-23 champion in Samokov, Rhona Auckland, will compete. She has the likes of fellow team silver medallists Emelia Gorecka, Maryse Haynes and Katie Holt for company.

Katie Hewison, the European duathlon champion, will also form part of the GB team for the first time since the European Mountain Running Championships in 2008, while junior Euro Cross silver medallist Jess Judd moves up to the senior ranks for the first time in her cross country career.

Farah said: “I’m looking forward to returning to the Great Edinburgh Cross Country to kick off my season.

“For many years I ran cross country to build my base for the summer track season and it will be nice to return to Edinburgh and try to repeat my winning run of 2011 there,” added the athlete who will be making his 40th GB & NI senior appearance since his debut in 2003.

Three men from the junior team in Bulgaria are among the under-20 men’s squad – Elliot Bowker, Jonathan Glen and Jac Hopkins – while bronze medallist Lydia Turner will be joined by the likes of Georgina Outten, Amy Griffiths, Phoebe Law and 15-year-old Sabrina Sinha on the junior women’s team.

British Athletics’ head of endurance, Barry Fudge, said: “It’s great to see such depth in the GB & NI team heading to Scotland for the Great Edinburgh Cross Country next month.

“With the great performances in Bulgaria combined with a number of strong additions to the team, I am confident that we can be competitive against what will be strong American and European teams.”

GB & NI team

Senior men
Andrew Butchart
Luke Caldwell
Jonathan Davies
Mo Farah
Will Gray
Callum Hawkins
Jonny Hay
Adam Hickey
Charlie Hulson
Ross Millington
Jonathan Taylor
Tom Wade

Senior women
Rhona Auckland
Emma Clayton
Lauren Deadman
Emelia Gorecka
Maryse Haynes
Katie Hewison
Katie Holt
Jess Judd
Lily Partridge
Charlotte Purdue
Sonia Samuels
Gemma Steel

Junior men
Elliot Bowker
Jack Crabtree
Oliver Fox
Jonathan Glen
James Hall
Jac Hopkins

Junior women
Grace Baker
Amy Griffiths
Phoebe Law
Georgina Outten
Sabrina Sinha
Lydia Turner

The Great Edinburgh Cross Country takes place at at Holyrood Park and is to be televised live on the BBC from 1pm, while the Great Winter Run – held on a 5km course that loops around Arthur’s Seat – takes place on the same day.

» For more on the international 4km event click here