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UK Athletics

Endurance Selection Policies Announced

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Cross Country

UK Athletics has announced its selection policy for this winter’s SPAR European Cross Country Championships to be held in San Giorgio su Legnano, Italy, on Sunday 10 December 2006 and the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Mombasa, Kenya, on Saturday 24 March 2007.


While the main pre-Christmas focus will be on the Euro Cross – the Norwich Union Great Britain and Northern Ireland Team topped the table at last winter’s Championships in the Netherlands – one major change to policy will enable athletes to double-up at both the Ekiden Relay in Chiba, Japan on 23 November 2006 and the European Cross Country Championships.


Spencer Barden, UK Athletics’ Senior Coordinator – Endurance, explained: “Following the past successes of the GB & NI Team at European Cross Country Championships, it is our intention to support these championships in 2006 with full junior and senior teams. For the first time, the Europeans will also include Under 23 demonstration races. Although they are not official championship races, it is still UK Athletics’ intention to fully support the Under 23 age group in this test year. However, we will review the impact of this competition on the UK Under 23s over the whole winter.


“In addition to the European Cross, it is UKA intention to support both the Ekiden Relay in Japan and the World Cross Country Championships in Kenya.


“UK Athletics has been invited to send both a Men’s and Women’s team to this year’s Ekiden. It is UK Athletics’ intention to support this event, although the European Cross is UK Athletics’ main priority this winter. Due to the close proximity of this event to the European Cross Trials – this winter’s are at Liverpool on 25 November – traditionally athletes selected for the Ekiden have not competed in the official European Trial and subsequently have not been selected for the European Cross. This year, UKA will incorporate a pre-selection element within the selection policy for the European Cross. This will give some of our more experienced performers the opportunity to compete in both the Ekiden and European Cross in 2006.


“The World Cross Country Championships for 2007 will no longer include the ‘short course’ Championships for seniors. The senior men’s ‘long course’ will revert to 9 athletes to run. The senior women’s ‘long course’ will continue with 6 athletes to run.


“Due to the extreme weather conditions expected in Kenya next March, it is UKA’s intention to have a preparation camp in Durban, South Africa. Performances at past championships have shown that when senior athletes are inadequately prepared for such hot conditions, they have under-performed at the World Cross. Warm weather preparation will be essential for all the senior athletes preparing themselves for the conditions expected in Kenya.


“History has shown that the junior athletes do not in the main benefit from a prep camp so far out from the championships. It is therefore UKA’s intention to only send some pre-selected junior athletes to South Africa prior to the World Cross.


“Senior athletes selected for the World Cross will be expected to attend the camp in South Africa, or agree with UKA an alternative. As in previous years, UKA will incorporate a pre-selection element into the World Cross selection policy for both senior and junior athletes.”


To view selection policies for the Chiba Ekiden, European Cross Country Championships and World Cross Country Championships, please view the attachment below.


For further information, contact Spencer Barden, UK Athletics' Senior Coordinator for Endurance on sbarden@ukathletics.org.uk