Britton secures Antrim International victory

Recently-crowned European Cross County champion Fionnuala Britton took the women's title at today's Antrim International IAAF Cross County Permit meeting.

Recently-crowned European Cross County champion Fionnuala Britton took the women's title at today's Antrim International IAAF Cross County Permit meeting.

Britton clocked 19:32 over the 5.6km course to finish as an impressive winner despite strong winds and rain and heavy underfoot conditions.

Here in Greenmount spectators were gripped throughout the race by the intense battle between the 27-year-old Irish steeplechaser and her English counterpart Gemma Steel, whom she beat recently in Edinburgh.

It was neck and neck throughout, until Britton pulled away during the final lap to take victory, with seven seconds to spare.

"It was tough, a lot tougher than Edinburgh I think," she admitted afterwards. "It was similar in one way because it was the two of us together, but that muck made it tough.

"There was a lot more running on the course in Edinburgh. Here there was a lot of ploughing through it.

"In Edinburgh I gradually pulled away (from Gemma), where this time we ran together for a lot more of it, so it was tougher I suppose, mentally as much as anything.

"Both of us are aware of the fact that there are people behind us. I suppose both of us are similar in a way, so if we get away we know we only have each other to battle against, where if we sit back and let others run the race we don't know what is going to happen.

"I struggled in Seville last week, so I needed it this week. I suppose after one good race you forget about it quickly. One not so good race plays on your mind for a lot longer. This would get rid of last week."

IAAF Antrim International Cross Country, Antrim, Results:

Senior Men’s 10800m: 1 Mike Kigen (Ken) 34mins 48secs, 2 Patrick Mutunga (Ken) 35.16, 3 Bernard Rotich (Ken) 35.21, 4 Yirsaw Tegegne (Ken) 35.37, 5 Frank Tickner (Eng) 35.38, 6 Joseph Birech (Ken) 35.47, 7 Yetwale Kende (Eth) 35.49, 8 Jacob Cheshari (Ken) 36.56, 9 James Walsh (Eng) 36.57, 10 Murray Strain (Sco) 37.33, 11 Andrew Douglas (Sco) 37.48, 12 Joe McAllister (NIrl) 38.01, 13 Andrew Agnew (NIrl) 38.11, 14 James Trollop (Eng) 38.17, 15 Dean Lacy (Eng) 38.27, 16 Stephen Scullion (NIrl) 38.37, 19 Eddie McGinley (NIrl) 38.51, 20 Jarleth Falls (NIrl) 39.12

Senior Women’s 5600m: 1 Fionnuala Britton (Irl) 19mins 32secs, 2 Gemma Steel (Gbr) 19.39, 3 Birtuken Adamu (Eth) 19.54, 4 Mekdes Bekele (Eth) 20.11, 5 Mekasha Waganesh (Eth) 20.28, 6 Purity Kirui (Ken) 20.39, 7 Annabel Gummow (Gbr) 20.44, 8 Jane Potter (Gbr) 21.02, 9 Rosemary Smith (Sco) 21.03, 10 Aoife Culhane (NIrl) 21.14, 11 Clare Martin (Gbr) 21.21, 12 Rebekah Randell (Gbr) 21.44, 13 Breege Connolly (NIrl) 21.54, 16 Julie Turley (NIrl) 22.18, 17 Lauren Scott (NIrl) 22.23, 18 Cathy McCourt (NIrl) 22.35, 19 Patricia O’Hagan (NIrl) 22.44, 20 Sharon Bird (NIrl) 23.00

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