Belfast Telegraph

Brave Forsyth just misses out on bronze joy

 

By Brian Hill

Newcastle's Ryan Forsyth had the race of his life in yesterday's Spar European Cross Country in Tilburg, but he agonisingly just missed out on a medal in the U23 event.

The 22-year-old is a student at the University of Colorado and recently finished an impressive 11th in the NCAA Cross Country Championships. Despite this good form, no one expected him to be in contention for a medal in the Netherlands.

Forsyth clearly had other ideas as he led the entire field at the end of the first lap and was in the bronze medal position halfway through the final lap.

However, he was just caught at the end when Hugo Hay of France got the verdict by one second.

Forsyth was 12 seconds behind winner Jimmy Gressier of France, who took team gold with Ireland finishing sixth.

Forsyth will be trying to improve his best 5,000m track time next year, which is an impressive 13 minutes 41 seconds.

There was disappointment for the Irish Women's U20 team as medal prospect Sarah Healy took a bad tumble halfway through the 4.3km event when she was with the leading group.

The double European track champion then made valiant efforts to claw her way back but could never quite close the gap.

She finished in ninth place, one position behind team-mate Emma O'Brien in a race won by Nadia Battoclette of Italy.

Had Healy not fallen, the Irish team could have got a bronze medal instead of sixth place as they were only three points behind third-placed Turkey.

The Irish U20 Men's team finished fifth with 55 points.

The Irish Women's Senior team struggled with the muddy conditions and finished a rather disappointing 11th. The best performer was Sarah Treacy who was 26th, followed by Ciara Mageean (43rd), Michelle Finn (51st), Anne Marie McGlynn (57th), Fionnuala Ross (62nd) and Kerry O'Flaherty (64th). Turkey's Yasemin Cann won a third individual title.

The Men's Senior team took seventh place with the individual title going to Filip Ingebrigsten of Norway.

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