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UK Athletics

European Cross Country Championships

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Sian Edwards
Sian Edwards

UK Athletics today announced that four athletes have been pre-selected in the Norwich Union Great Britain and Northern Ireland Team for the Spar European Cross Country Championships to be run in San Giorgio su Legnano, Italy, on Saturday 10 December.


Pete Riley (Trafford AC), Hayley Yelling (Windsor, Slough, Eton and Hounslow AC) and Sian Edwards (Kettering Town Harriers) earned selection with impressive victories at last Saturday’s UK Cross Challenge in Birmingham.


Jo Pavey (Exeter Harriers) has earned an early call-up on the basis of her successful transition from track to road this autumn, culminating in her victory over 10 miles at the BUPA Great South Run.


Announcing the selectors’ decisions, Spencer Barden, UK Athletics’ Senior Coordinator – Endurance, said: “Jo has shown great form recently on the roads and has experience of running in major cross country championships. She is currently preparing in South Africa and will certainly strength our women’s team in Italy.


“The Cross Challenge proved its importance to domestic athletes by allowing Pete, Hayley and Sian to show form well in advance of the Europeans.


“This decision will give Hayley the opportunity she deserves, as a former champion, to prepare properly.


“Pete and Sian are in the Norwich Union GB Teams at the Chiba Ekiden Road Relay in Japan on 23 November, and would have missed the official European Trials two days later at the UK Cross Challenge in Liverpool’s Sefton Park.


“There are still ample opportunities for athletes in Liverpool to earn selection. The first three eligible seniors and the first four eligible juniors in the trial races will be automatically selected. The selectors will fill the remaining places on all known form.


“There are also races for Under 23s for the first time at this year’s Euro Cross and it is UK Athletics intention to select Under 23 athletes for the senior races if their inclusion will strengthen the senior team.


“There will be no automatic selections in Liverpool for the Under 23s. While the Under 23 team for the Europeans will be selected based primarily on performances in Liverpool, all known form this winter will be taken into account.”