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Fionnuala bids for Greenmount International hat-trick glory

By Brian Hill

Former double European champion Fionnuala McCormack will go for victory next month in the Greenmount Cross Country International, a race she has won twice before.

Previous participants in the long history of this event - which takes place in Antrim on January 14 - have included star names like Steve Ovett, Steve Cram, Brendan Foster, Paula Radcliffe, John Treacy and Paul Tergat.

McCormack (32) has consistently been the top Irish cross country runner in recent years, leading the international team to bronze in the Euro Championships for the second consecutive year 12 months ago.

McCormack's fourth place followed on from two previous individual European victories back in 2011 and 2012.

However the versatile Kilcoole AC runner would also like to be known for her numerous track achievements.

The former Olympic steeplechaser is determined to set new standards over longer distances, achieving this in spectacular fashion with a gutsy fourth place in the European 10,000m in Amsterdam earlier this year.

She followed this up in August with her greatest ever achievement in the Rio Olympics marathon. She defied the oppressively hot, humid conditions to take 20th place in a PB of 2.31.22.

McCormack has also experienced success at Greenmount with two previous wins. She will be hoping for a hat-trick of victories particularly after her impressive win in Spain a few days ago.

Also racing will be Kenya's Caroline Kipkirui, ranked in the world top 20 over 5,000m.

Belfast Telegraph

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