Fionnuala McCormack to carry Ireland's medal hopes as Euro cross country team named

Fionnuala McCormack to carry Ireland's medal hopes as Euro cross country team named
Fionnuala McCormack, right, congratulates her sister Una Britton, both of Kilcoole A.C., Co. Wicklow, after winning gold and bronze medals at the National Cross Country Championships. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Fionnuala McCormack will carry the medal hopes for the Irish at the European Cross Country on Sunday, December 8, the 35-year-old announced on an Irish team of 40 for the event in Lisbon.

The Kilcoole athlete will earn her 38th international cap at the championships where she has twice won individual gold, taking the senior women’s title in 2011 and 2012.

McCormack routed her domestic rivals in Sunday’s national championships, coming home close to two minutes clear in the 8,000m contest, igniting hopes that she can claim another medal at an event in which she has best exhibited her brilliance.

Joining her on the senior women’s team is younger sister Una, who finished third in Sunday’s race, along with Ciara Mageean, the 2018 national cross country champion who bypassed Sunday’s event. The 1500m specialist will provide an undoubted injection of class for the senior women’s team.

Liam Brady will lead the senior men’s team after his surprise victory on Sunday, the Tullamore Harrier joined by the five seniors who were closest to him on Sunday. The runner-up in the senior race, Raheny’s Brian Fay, will head the men’s U-23 team.

There will also be full Irish teams of six in the U-20 races, although only five have so far been named on the men’s team as the eligibility of Efrem Gidey remains unsure. The Eritrean-born teenager came to Ireland as a refugee in 2017 and officials from Athletics Ireland are hopeful the necessary paperwork will be completed in time for the Clonliffe Harrier to represent his adopted country.

Ireland team for European Cross Country Championships, Lisbon, December 8

Men’s Senior

Conor Bradley, City of Derry Spartans AC

Damien Landers, Ennis Track AC

Eoin Everard, Kilkenny City Harriers AC

Kevin Maunsell, Clonmel AC

Liam Brady, Tullamore Harriers AC

Sean Tobin, Clonmel AC

Women’s Senior

Aoibhe Richardson, Kilkenny City Harriers AC

Ciara Mageean, City of Lisburn AC

Fionnuala McCormack, Kilcoole AC

Fionnuala Ross, Armagh AC

Mary Mulhare, Portlaoise AC

Una Britton, Kilcoole AC

Men’s U23

Brian Fay, Raheny Shamrock AC

Cathal Doyle, Clonliffe Harriers AC

Cormac Dalton, Mullingar Harriers AC

David McGlynn, Waterford AC

Jack O’Leary, Mullingar Harriers AC

Peter Lynch, Kilkenny City Harriers AC

Women’s U23

Claire Fagan, Mullingar Harriers AC

Eilish Flanagan, Carmen runners

Fian Sweeney, Dublin City Harriers AC

Roisin Flanagan, Carmen runners

Sorcha McAlister, Westport AC

Stephanie Cotter, West Muskerry AC

Men’s U20

Daragh McElhinney, Bantry AC

Jamie Battle, Mullingar Harriers AC

Keelan Kilrehill, Moy Valley AC

Shay McEvoy, Kilkenny City Harriers AC

Thomas McStay, Galway City Harriers AC

Plus one more TBC

Women’s U20

Aoife O’Cuill, St. Coca’s AC

Danielle Donegan, Tullamore Harriers AC

Eimear Maher, Dundrum South Dublin AC

Jodie McCann, Dublin City Harriers AC

Maeve Gallagher, Swinford AC

Sarah Kelly, Inisowen AC

Mixed Relay

Amy O’Donoghue, Emerald AC

John Travers, Donore Harriers AC

Luke McCann, Dublin City Harriers AC

Nadia Power, Templeogue AC

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