A simply brilliant days cross country in Abbottstown for today’s European cross-country Championships hosted by Athletics Ireland before a huge enthusiastic crowd . The highlight today was the gold medal performance by the Irish men’s U/23 team led home by Darragh MCElhinney (UCD) who ran a superb race to take individual silver. Not far behind in the highlights charts was the silver medal performance of the U/20 men including Clonliffe’s Sean Kay, in 50th. There was a tremendously exciting 4 x 1500 mixed relay which had the Irish team well in contention right until the finishing straight but unfortunately were ran out to place fourth. Then of course there was the senior men’s race over 10,000 m and an awesome run by Olympic 1500 champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen of Norway to well and truly justify his favourite tag as he took gold. Raheny Shamrock’s Brian Fay was top of the Irish finishing an excellent 10th place. In the women’s race Karoline Bjerkeli Grovdal made it a Norwegian double gold with the top Irish finisher being the unbelievable Fionnuala MacCormack in ninth place in this her 17th Euro cross.
It was a day which will live long in the memory and hopefully will inspire all involved in Irish athletics whether an athlete, coach or administrator to continue to move forward. We can host world-class events and we do have world-class athletes in this country of ours. Superbly organised, exciting races and the cheers from the crowd bringing out the Goosebumps on the back of the neck. The whole army of volunteers from athletics clubs throughout the length and breadth of the country have done our sport and our country proud.
To see photos: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmXfcjXC