Fionnuala Britton today won Ireland’s second bronze medal at the European Indoor Championships in Gothenburg.
A day after Ciaran O’Lionaird finished third in the men’s 3,000 metres, Britton repeated the feat in a thrilling finish to the women’s race, which had also bizarrely featured a false start.
Portugal’s Sara Moreira was a comfortable winner in eight minutes 58.50 seconds, but just 0.09secs covered second to fourth with Germany’s Corinna Harrer taking silver in 9mins 00.50s, Britton third in 9:00.54 and Russia’s Yelena Korobkina fourth in 9:00.59.
“I needed to stay out of trouble and conserve energy. I knew I couldn’t dictate the race, I had to follow it,” said Britton, twice a winner of the European Cross Country title.
“When we sprinted for it I could have got second so I am a bit disappointed, but I could also have got fourth. I have come in fourth place so many times I was thinking ’I’m not coming fourth, I’m not coming fourth’.”
Britton avoided being caught up in the false start, which saw Britain’s Lauren Howarth also tumble to the track on the first bend and the field complete three-quarters of a hesitant first lap before being halted by officials.
Howarth, who went on to finish sixth despite a nasty gash on her right thigh, said: “It was a bit of a distraction, but you’ve got to laugh at it really, move on and get on with the race.
“I’m a bit gutted because I could have easily got a medal but it’s a championship race. I fell over at my last race at the European Cross Country and went flat on my face, so I seem to like falling over.”
In the women’s 800m final, Ciara Everard was sixth in a race won by Ukraine’s Nataliya Lupu.