Medal mania for Ireland at Euro Cross.

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Medal mania for Ireland at Euro Cross

Ireland had their most successful European Cross Country Championships winning four medals, two individual and two team, at Bela Vista Park in Lisbon today (December 8).

There were two individual bronze medals won by Efrem Gidey (Clonliffe Harriers) in the U20 men’s race and Stephanie Cotter (West Muskerry) in the U23 women’s race. Two team silver medals were won by the U23 women and the senior women.

There were two agonising fourth place finishes for the U20 men’s team and Fionnuala McCormack (Kilcoole) in the senior women’s race.   

Athlete interviews are on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Full results are HERE

Gidey gets medal haul underway

Efrem Gidey got the medal haul underway with a fine individual bronze in the men’s U20 6,225m race that was won for the fourth time by Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen. Unfortunately, it was heartbreak for the U20 men’s team finishing fourth on countback.

Great Britain & Northern Ireland won with 25 points followed by Norway on 38 points and Portugal who scored 39 points also. With three athletes to score for the team standings, it comes down to the highest third score, final counter, to decide the medals.

The Irish team were backed up by Darragh McElhinney (UCD) in 12th, Thomas McStay (Galway City Harriers) 24th, Keelan Kilrehill (Moy Valley) joint 25th, Jamie Battle (Mullingar Harriers) 28th, Shay McEvoy (Kilkenny City Harriers) 76th.

The U20 women’s (4,225m) team were 11th led home by Jodie McCann (Dublin City Harriers) in 46th. Aoife O’Cuill (St. Coca’s AC) was 62nd, Sarah Kelly (Inishowen AC) was 77th, Danielle Donegan (Tullamore Harriers AC) 84th, Eimear Maher (Dundrum South Dublin AC) 85th, and Maeve Gallagher (Swinford AC) 93rd.

The U23 men’s (8,225m) team put in a gritty performance for 7th with Brian Fay (Raheny Shamrock) 22nd, Jack O’Leary (Mullingar Harriers) 25th and Peter Lynch (Kilkenny City Harriers) 26th packing well to score followed by Cormac Dalton (Mullingar Harriers) 49th, Cathal Doyle (Clonliffe Harriers) 71st and David McGlynn (Waterford) 72nd.

Cotter lands bronze and super silver for team

Then it was a super silver medal for the U23 women’s (6,225m) team with brilliant bronze for Stephanie Cotter (West Muskerry). Cotter went with race favourite Anna Moller (Denmark) who fulfilled that tag to win gold while the West Muskerry athlete hung on gamely for bronze.

She was back up by her Adams State teammates, and twins, Eilish and Roisin Flanagan (Carmen Runners) in 9th and 17th followed by Fian Sweeney (Dublin City Harriers) 38th, Claire Fagan (Mullingar Harriers) 47th and Sorcha McAlister (Westport) 57th.

The mixed relay team of Nadia Power (Dublin City Harriers), John Travers (Donore Harriers), Amy O’Donoghue (Emerald) and Eoin Pierce (Clonliffe Harriers) finished 7th.

Sean Tobin (Clonmel) scored his third consecutive top twenty individual placing in the senior men’s race in 18 followed by Conor Bradley (City of Derry) 52, Eoin Everard (Kilkenny City Harriers) 61, Liam Brady (Tullamore Harriers) 64 and Damien Landers (Ennis Track) 71 with the team 13. Unfortunately, Kevin Maunsell (Clonmel) dropped out on the first lap through injury.

Silver lining for McCormack with team second

Finally, it was the turn of Fionnuala McCormack (Kilcoole) to cap off a wonderful day of Irish performances even though they were tinged with some frustration and near misses. None more so than McCormack who was making a record 16 appearance as she just missed out on the bronze medal in fourth behind Sweden’s Samrawit Mengsteab by two seconds – Mengsteab ran 27:43 to McCormack’s 27:45. Turkey’s Yasmin Can won her fourth consecutive title.

There was a silver lining though as the senior women finished second with Aoibhe Richardson (Kilkenny City Harriers) 17th, Ciara Mageean (City of Lisburn) 20th, Mary Mulhare (Portlaoise) 35th, Una Britton (Kilcoole) 37th and Fionnnuala Ross (Armagh) 47th.

Ireland placed fourth out 21 countries on the placing table overall. These were Ireland’s first medals since 2015 in Hyeres, France and builds a brilliant platform as Dublin host the championships next year at the Sport Ireland National Sports Campus.

The Irish team also won the second most amount of medals behind Great Britain & Northern Ireland to cap off the most successful championships in the history of the event.

Irish Results

European Cross Country Championships, Lisbon

Women

U20 4,225m

Jodie McCann (Dublin City Harriers) 46th, Aoife O’Cuill (St. Coca’s AC) 62nd, Sarah Kelly (Inishowen AC) 77th, Danielle Donegan (Tullamore Harriers AC) 84th, Eimear Maher (Dundrum South Dublin AC) 85th, Maeve Gallagher (Swinford AC) 93rd.

Team: 11th

U23 6,225m

Stephanie Cotter (West Muskerry) 3rd, Eilish Flanagan (Carmen Runners) 9th, Roisin Flanagan (Carmen Runners) 17th, Fian Sweeney (Dublin City Harriers) 38th, Claire Fagan (Mullingar Harriers) 47th Sorcha McAlister (Westport) 57th.  

Team: 2nd

Senior 8,225m

Fionnuala McCormack (Kilcoole) 4th, Aoibhe Richardson (Kilkenny City Harriers) 17th, Ciara Mageean (City of Lisburn) 20th, Mary Mulhare (Portlaoise) 35th, Una Britton (Kilcoole) 37th, Fionnnuala Ross (Armagh) 47th.

Team: 2nd

Men

U20 6,225m

Efrem Gidey (Clonliffe Harriers) 3rd, Darragh McElhinney (UCD) 12th, Thomas McStay (Galway City Harriers) 24th, Keelan Kilrehill (Moy Valley) 25th, Jamie Battle (Mullingar Harriers) 28th, Shay McEvoy (Kilkenny City Harriers) 76th.

Team: 4th

U23 8,225m

Brian Fay (Raheny Shamrock) 22nd, Jack O’Leary (Mullingar Harriers) 25th, Peter Lynch (Kilkenny City Harriers) 26th, Cormac Dalton (Mullingar Harriers) 49th, Cathal Doyle (Clonliffe Harriers) 71st, David McGlynn (Waterford) 72nd.

Team: 7th

Senior 10,225m

Sean Tobin (Clonmel) 18th, Conor Bradley (City of Derry) 52nd, Eoin Everard (Kilkenny City Harriers) 61st, Liam Brady (Tullamore Harriers) 64th, Damien Landers (Ennis Track) 71st, Kevin Maunsell (Clonmel) DNF

Team: 13th

Mixed Relay 4 x 1500m

Team: 7th – Nadia Power (Dublin City Harriers), John Travers (Donore Harriers), Amy O’Donoghue (Emerald), Eoin Pierce (Clonliffe Harriers)

END