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McCormack and O’Leary gallant as Ireland give their all in Italy

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McCormack a fighting fifth

Fionnuala McCormack (Kilcoole) was a fighting fifth on her record 14th appearance at the European Cross Country Championships in Chia, Italy today (December 11).

McCormack was understandably left frustrated as she was bidding for a record three European cross country titles. The women’s 8,000m race was won by Turkey’s Yasemin Can in 24:46 with her compatriot Meryem Akda in second in 24:56 with Norway’s  Karoline Grovdal bagging the bronze in 25:26. McCormack was pipped by Romania’s Ancuta Bobacel by once second in 25:27 to 25:28.

“This championships means so much to me,” said a disappointed McCormack afterwards who made the most appearances by a woman at these championships.

“I really wanted to win. The Turks broke clear early and I never felt comfortable. I gave my best out there today but I think I’m better than that. There was a deceptive wind. I was chasing for gold and I’m really disappointed. I’ll be back for a 15th time next year in Slovakia.”

The women’s team finished 6th having been fighting for bronze for much of the race with Romania. Ciara Mageean (UCD) was next home in 31st, followed by Michelle Finn (Leevale) in 33rd, Kerry O’Flaherty (Newcastle) 54th, Shona Heaslip (An Riocht) in 59th who unfortunately took a heavy fall on the last hill having been placed well and Laura Crowe (An Riocht) in 60th. Turkey won the team title.

O'Leary's bold move for gold

Jack O’Leary (Mullingar Harriers) made a bold move for gold in the men’s U20 6,000m race finishing an excellent 6th in 17:21. O’Leary followed Italy’s eventual silver medallist Yohanes Chiappinelli in a two-man breakaway but Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen came back for gold in 17:06.

This was a fine performance by the Mullingar Harrier who also led the team to a strong 6th place finish. Peter Lynch (Kilkenny City Harriers A.C.) was next home in 25th, Darragh McElhinney (Bantry A.C.) 39th, Barry Keane (Waterford A.C.) 47th, Fearghal Curtin (Youghal A.C.) 61st and Charlie O'Donovan (Leevale A.C.) 76th.

The U20 women had a strong showing to place 10th in the 4,000m race led home by Amy Rose Farrell (Blackrock) 24th in 13:35, Carla Sweeney (WSAF) 31st, Sophie Murhpy (DSD) 38th, Aisling Joyce (Claremorris) 55th, Emma O’Brien (Inbhear Dee/Sli Cualann) 64th, and Jodie McCann (DSD) 72nd.

In the U23 races Bethanie Murray (DSD) finished 46th with Amy O’Donoghue (Emerald) two places further back in 48th in the women’s 6,000m. It was won by Poland’s Sofia Ennaoui.

Karl Fitzmaurice (Ennis Track) finished 59th and Mitchell Byrne (Rathfarnham WSAF) 67th in the men’s U23 8,000m won by Belgium’s Isaac Kimeli.

The senior men made it four top ten performances for Ireland in 10th led home by Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders) 36th over 10,000m in 29:42. Mick Clohisey (Raheny Shamrock) was 43rd in 29:54, Mark Christie (Mullingar Harriers) was 56th, Liam Brady (Tullamore Harriers) was 62nd, Mark Hanrahan (Leevale) was 65th and Kevin Dooney (Raheny Shamrock) was 69th.  The race was won by Turkey’s Aras Kaya in 27:39.

For full results click HERE

Results

U20 Women

Konstanze Klosterhalfen (GER)
Anna Moller (DEN)
Harriet Knowles Jones (GBR)

Ireland: Amy Rose Farrell (Blackrock) 24th, Carla Sweeney (WSAF) 31st, Sophie Murhpy (DSD) 38th, Aisling Joyce (Claremorris) 55th, Emma O’Brien (Inbhear Dee/Sli Cualann) 64th, and Jodie McCann (DSD) 72nd.

Teams: 1. Great Britain, 2. Germany, 3. Netherlands, 10. Ireland

U20 Men

Jakon Ingebrigtsen (NOR)
Yohanes Chiappinelli (ITA)
Mahamed Mahamed (GBR)

Ireland: Jack O’Leary (Mullingar Harriers) 6th, Peter Lynch (Kilkenny City Harriers A.C.) 25th, Darragh McElhinney (Bantry A.C.) 39th, Barry Keane (Waterford A.C.) 47th, Fearghal Curtin (Youghal A.C.) 61st, Charlie O'Donovan (Leevale A.C.) 76th

Teams:  1. France, 2. Spain, Great Britain, 6. Ireland

U23 Women

Sofia Ennaoui (POL)
Anna Gehring (GER)
Alice Wright (GBR)

Ireland: Bethanie Murray (DSD) 46th, Amy O’Donoghue (Emerald) 48th

Teams: 1 Great Britain, 2. Germany, 3. Italy

U23 Men

Isaac Kimeli (BEL)
Carlos Mayo (SPA)
Yemaneberhan Crippa (ITA)

Ireland: Karl Fitzmaurice (Ennis Track) 59th, Mitchell Byrne (Rathfarnham WSAF) 67th

Teams: 1. Italy, 2 Belgium, 3. Great Britain

Senior Women

Yasemin Can (TUR)
Meryem Akda (TUR)
Karoline Grovdal (NOR)

Ireland: Fionnuala McCormack (Kilcoole) 5th, Ciara Mageean (UCD) 31st, Michelle Finn (Leevale) 33rd, Kerry O’Flaherty (Newcastle) 54th, Shona Heaslip (An Riocht) 59th, Laura Crowe (An Riocht) 60th

Teams: 1. Turkey, 2. Great Britain, 3. Romania, 6. Ireland

Senior Men 10,000m

Aras Kaya (TUR)
Polat Arikan (TUR)
Callum Hawkins (GBR)

Ireland: Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders) 36th, Mick Clohisey (Raheny Shamrock) 43rd, Mark Christie (Mullingar Harriers) 56th, Liam Brady (Tullamore Harriers) 62nd, Mark Hanrahan (Leevale) 65th, Kevin Dooney (Raheny Shamrock) 69th

Teams: 1. Great Britain, 2. Spain, 3. Turkey, 10. Ireland

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