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Pollock and Britton set sights on Euro glory

Annadale's Paul Pollock can shine for Ireland in this weekend's televised Spar European Cross Country Championships in Belgrade, with Wicklow's Fionnuala Britton aiming for an unprecedented hat-trick of victories.

Holywood doctor Pollock did not defend his Northern Ireland 10k title in the Joe Seeley race at Ormeau last weekend because of his Belgrade preparations.

The 27-year-old is in the form of his life following a brilliant victory three weeks ago in the Irish National Championships in Dublin.

He enjoyed a comfortable 30 seconds victory margin over brothers Michael and Dan Mulhare of Portlaoise and Waterford's David McCarthy who will all be racing in Belgrade.

Pollock has stated that he is aiming for a rostrum place over a flat, fast course which should suit him.

However, even though Pollock was the second European finisher in last summer's World Marathon, he will be fully tested by Hassan Chandi of France and Italy's Daniel Muci who took silver and bronze in last year's Europeans. Pollock will certainly be disappointed if he does not at least beat Dubliner Joe Sweeney's highest Irish placing of fifth position two years ago.

South Belfast man Stephen Scullion will also be racing following his impressive fourth place in Dublin.

The European Indoors competitor has shown from his fifth place in the international event at Greenmount last year that he can compete with the best on his day.

Ireland will have a strong men's U-23 team which includes Dromore's Ryan McDermott. Irish U-23 1,500m record holder Paul Robinson will also be racing.

Strabane's Anne Marie McGlynn will be racing in the 8k event. She will be supporting Kilcoole's hat-trick chaser Britton.

Belfast Telegraph