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Farah withdraws from European Cross Country Championships

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21 November 2007

 

Reigning European Cross Country Champion Mo Farah (Newham and Essex Beagles) will not defend his title in Spain next month and will instead focus on preparing for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

 

Farah has withdrawn from the Norwich Union Great Britain and Northern Ireland Team for the European Cross Country Championships in Toro, Spain.

 

He has taken the decision alongside his coach Alan Storey to miss the championships to ensure his preparations for Olympic year are not interrupted by further aggravating a groin injury.

 

It means the senior men’s race at this weekend’s European Cross Country Trials in Liverpool being held as part of the UK Cross Challenge series is now wide open with a further place available for selection.

 

UK Athletics Senior Performance Manager for Endurance, Alan Storey said: “Mo would have loved to defend his European title, but the recovery from his injury has been slightly slower than expected. We have taken the decision now to focus on regaining full fitness and would hope to make a racing return early in the New Year.”

 

Farah said: “I’m disappointed that I will not be able to defend my title but 2008 is a key year and my preparations for Beijing have to take priority. I‘ve had a great 2007 – my performance in Osaka showed I am going in the right direction, and it’s important I don't jeopardise that by rushing this recovery process.

 

“Best of luck to the athletes bidding for selection this weekend and to the team that goes out to Toro – I’m sure the championships will be as successful for the team as in previous years.”

 

Athletes who have been pre-selected for the European Cross Country Championships – 9 December, Toro, Spain:

 

Senior Women

Kate Reed (Bristol & West)

 

Junior Women

Emily Pidgeon (Gloucester AC)

Steph Twell (Aldershot Farnham & District)