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Running from country to country leaves Cram feeling cross in Edinburgh

By Billy Weir

You can't beat a bit of hypocrisy, especially in the world of athletics, but even by the BBC's standards the shortbread was well and truly taken in Saturday's Great Edinburgh Cross Country event.

The big story was supposed to be Sir Mo Farah's first win since becoming a Knight of the Realm, but that was soon overtaken, as was he, by political jiggery-pokery.

The Women's race was a battle between two Turkish women, from Kenya, and the Beeb's Brendan Foster and Steve Cram were less than impressed.

It did slightly make a mockery of the team competition between GB, Europe and the USA when quite a lot of athletes in action bought their plimsolls in Nairobi, but then again doesn't GB's greatest-ever athlete hail from Somalia?

As it turned out he was over-shadowed by a man from Paisley, Callum Hawkins, who left Mo and co. in his wake as he and an 'American' chap called Leonard Korir raced off into the distance.

"The American team is full of Kenyans, many of whom went to college there, have been there quite a few years and eventually were given citizenship," explained Cram.

The inference seemed to be that, like me, had their cross-country prowess been less than golden, then they would have been sent packing.

In the end only one second separated local hero Callum from Leonard, meaning despair for the people of Paisley while the people of New York, via Nairobi, were not just running on the fields but dancing in the streets too.

Belfast Telegraph

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