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McCormack has Greenmount International hat-trick in sights

 

By Brian Hill

Former double European cross country champion Fionnuala McCormack will be going for a hat-trick in the Greenmount International at Antrim early next month, one of a small number of IAAF World Permit meetings.

McCormack has been the top Irish cross country runner for many years and earlier this month the Kilcoole athlete (right) competed for a record 15th time in the European Championships in Slovakia where she was top Irish finisher in 12th place.

The 33-year-old, who previously won the Europeans in 2011 and 2012, is her own harshest critic and commented afterwards that she just didn't get into the race.

The Rio Olympics marathon runner will, however, have ample opportunity to make amends at Greenmount on Saturday, January 6 and possibly add to her two previous victories there.

She will expect a close battle with Great Britain's Gemma Steel who finished just seven seconds ahead of McCormack in Slovakia in ninth place.

Steel was delighted that her placing ensured the British squad took the senior team title.

This will be the 32-year-old's fourth visit to the Greenmount event - supported by Antrim & Newtownabbey Borough Council - with her best placing being the runner-up spot to McCormack in 2012.

Belfast Telegraph

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