Jack O’Leary has kicked off Ireland’s bid for medals at the European Cross-Country Championships in the Sardinian resort of Chia with a creditable sixth-place in the junior men’s race.
O’Leary, whose father is the Gigginstown powerhouse horse racing trainer Eddie, was second at one stage behind home Italian athlete Yohanes Chiappinelli.
The Italian found himself overtaken by the latest member of the great Norwegian athletics family, Jakob Ingebrigtsen, who won by eight seconds, despite being the youngest in the field.
Britain’s Mahamed Mahamed was third.
Former schools mile champion O’Leary was battling among a second group of three athletes behind the top trio, but was run out of it by Frenchmen Jimmy Gressier and Mohamed-Amine El Bouajaji.
O’Leary’s time of 17 minutes 21 seconds was only 15 seconds behind winner Ingebrigtsen, with Ireland taking sixth in the team category.