Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: Irish team finish 5th in the World X-Country Championships in Poland

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Irish team finish 5th in the World X-Country Championships in Poland

The Irish Womens team finished an impressive 5th in the World Cross Country Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland (Sun 24th March 2013).

Not only was Fionnuala Britton the leading European runner in 14th place but the Irish team was also the leading European team.

In a competition that was always going to be dominated by African runners, the Kenyan and Ethiopian teams took first and second place respectively. The team 'from' Bahrain took third but to be honest, it's a bit of a joke in that it was completely made up of Kenyan and Ethiopian runners. The USA were fourth but should have by rights, finished third.

1     Kenya     Kenya     19 (1,5,6,7)
2     Ethiopia     Ethiopia     48 (2,3,15,28)
3     Bahrain     Bahrain     73 (4,8,20,41)
4     United States     United States     90 (13,21,26,30)
5     Ireland     Ireland     115 (14,27,32,42)
6     France     France     122 (16,33,35,38)
7     Great Britain  Great Britain      154 (31,37,40,46)
8     Canada     Canada     167 (24,25,58,60)
9     Spain     Spain     183
10     Uganda     Uganda     188
11     Poland     Poland     256
12     Japan     Japan     278
13     Brazil     Brazil     298
14     South Africa     South Africa     305
15     Australia     Australia     344

There were some great Irish performances in there but the two that stood out for me were Linda Byrne who finished within two seconds of the top British finisher Gemma Steel and Ava Hutchinson who was just 10 seconds behind Linda.

POS    BIB    ATHLETE    COUNTRY    MARK    DETAIL (Some of the 96 finishers with the Irish, British, French and US finishers shown) (Top 4 to score)
     1     Emily CHEBET    KEN     24:24   
     2     Hiwot AYALEW    ETH     24:27   
     3     Belaynesh OLJIRA    ETH     24:33   
     13     Neely SPENCE    USA     25:08   
     14     Fionnuala BRITTON    IRL     25:08   
     16     Sophie DUARTE    FRA     25:17   
     21     Emily INFELD    USA     25:27   
     26     Mattie SUVER    USA     25:41   
     27     Mary CULLEN    IRL     25:42   
     30     Kim CONLEY    USA     25:45   
     31     Gemma STEEL    GBR     25:47   
     32     Linda BYRNE    IRL     25:49   
     33     Laurane PICOCHE    FRA     25:50   
     34     Deena KASTOR    USA     25:52   
     35     Christelle DAUNAY    FRA     25:53   
     37     Louise DAMEN    GBR     25:55   
     38     Christine BARDELLE    FRA     25:56   
     40     Stephanie TWELL    GBR     25:58   
     42     Ava HUTCHINSON    IRL     25:59   
     45     Clémence CALVIN    FRA     26:03   
     46     Eleanor BAKER    GBR     26:04   
     47     Delilah DI CRESCENZO    USA     26:05   
     48     Lauren HOWARTH    GBR     26:05   
     65     Emily WICKS    GBR     26:48   
     70     Elizabeth LEE    IRL     26:55   
     96     Namakando NAMAKANDO    ZAM     31:27

In the post race analysis on RTE, it was said that Fionnuala Britton should have concentrated on Cross Country races only in the build up to this race and to have ignored doing the European Indoor championships. It might be true if this was the main race of the year but was it? Everyone expected the African runners to dominate all of the medals at this event regardless of who else turned up. Should she have spent the last few months concentrating on just Cross Country and getting a top 10 finish or should she have run indoors as she did and won a bronze medal in the 3000m indoors at the European Championships in Sweden? I think most people would pick the second option.

No comments: