Britton: Room to improve

Fionnuala Britton triumphed in convincing fashion at the Woodie’s DIY National Inter-County Cross-Country championships at Santry Demesne yesterday, while Paul Pollock dominated the men’s race and declared himself a contender for the European championships in December.

Britton: Room to improve

“I’m happy with that,” said Britton, who took control from the gun of the women’s 8,000m race to win in 26:05.

Sarah McCormack finished second in 27:07 with Sara Treacy third in 27:15.

“At the moment I’m going in the right direction but it’s another three weeks to go so I still need to improve,” said Britton of her European title defence in Belgrade on December 8.

“There’s nothing I can do about what shape I was in last year. I’ve got to deal with what shape I’m in this year. You have to be confident and believe in yourself. Nobody else is going to do it for me. I just have to get out and work hard and do the sessions and on the day see what I have — the same as everybody else.”

She races next week in France at the Cross de l’Acier, where a true showing of her form will be on display.

Meanwhile in the men’s 10,000m race, Paul Pollock was most impressive to win in 31:01. The predicted duel between Pollock and David McCarthy looked set to take place after a pedestrian beginning.

But just as soon as it was heating up McCarthy faded and Pollock went on for a comfortable victory. McCarthy ended ninth while the Portlaoise brothers, Michael and Dan Mulhare, got up for second and third.

“It’s definitely a confidence boost,” said Pollock, who has taken a break from his job as a doctor to focus full-time on athletics.

“I’m looking forward to the Euro cross and doing Ireland proud,” continued the confident Antrim man.

“I think I’m in shape to win it but there’s a group of 20-30 people who can win it on their day. So it really depends on conditions and how the race pans out.”

Siofra Cleirigh Buttner and Sean Tobin were comfortable winners of the junior races. Cleirigh Buttner was unchallenged over 4,000m with her DSD club mates Meghan Ryan and Sarah Fitzpatrick sweeping the podium.

Clonmel’s Tobin was followed home by Ruairi Finnegan and Kevin Mulcaire. Greater tests lie ahead in Serbia in December.

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