Trials winners joined by a number of Euro Cross medallists on 24-strong GB squad heading to Denmark
British Athletics has named full teams for the IAAF World Cross Country Championships taking place in Aarhus, Denmark, on March 30.
Trials winners Adam Hickey, Jenny Nesbitt, Matt Willis and Grace Brock are joined by a number of Euro Cross medallists on the 24-strong squad.
British Athletics’ selection policy for the global event had initially come under fierce criticism as it stated that only the top two senior athletes in the trials races at the Inter-Counties would be guaranteed team places, with additional spots available if selectors “believe that there is realistic potential for the team to finish at least in the top six”.
The top six-placed athletes in each of the trials races in Loughborough have been selected for Aarhus.
Both Hickey and trials race runner-up Jessica Piasecki return to World Cross action for the first time since 2007, when they competed in the junior teams at the event in Mombasa.
The senior men’s team also includes Ross Millington, who finished behind Hickey in Loughborough and took team silver in December’s Euro Cross, plus under-23 team silver medallists from Tilburg – Oliver Fox, Mahamed Mahamed and Patrick Dever – and Luke Traynor.
Nesbitt is joined on the senior women’s team by European Cross senior team silver medallists Piasecki and Kate Avery, plus Mhairi Maclennan, Emily Hosker Thornhill and under-20 team gold medallist Amelia Quirk, who earns her first senior vest.
Under-20 team gold medallist from Tilburg, Inter-Counties and 2018/19 Cross Challenge champion Brock spearheads the junior women’s selections, along with under-17 English National winner Olivia Mason, Charlotte Alexander, Becky Briggs, Eloise Walker and Amelia Samuels.
Willis leads the junior men’s team alongside English under-20 cross country champion Rory Leonard, under-20 European Mountain Running Championships team gold medallist Euan Brennan, under-20 Cross Challenge champion Zakariya Mahamed, Benjamin West and Josh Cowperthwaite.
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“I’m really excited that we are able to have selected a full team for the World Cross Country Championships that we feel can challenge some of the world’s best cross country runners on a tough course in Aarhus,” said team leader Rob Denmark.
“We have opted to select full teams in the senior races as we feel it will enhance our bid for a top six team finish and given the nature of the course, will give Great Britain & Northern Ireland the best possible chance of doing so.
“Additionally, we feel that the course in Aarhus will provide another perfect development opportunity for our under-20 athletes moving into the summer track season and a fundamental development area as they progress through the age groups.”
GB team for Aarhus
Senior men: Patrick Dever, Oliver Fox, Adam Hickey, Mahamed Mahamed, Ross Millington, Luke Traynor
Senior women: Kate Avery, Emily Hosker Thornhill, Mhairi Maclennan, Jennifer Nesbitt, Jessica Piasecki, Amelia Quirk
Junior men: Euan Brennan, Josh Cowperthwaite, Rory Leonard, Zakariya Mahamed, Benjamin West, Matt Willis
Junior women: Charlotte Alexander, Becky Briggs, Grace Brock, Olivia Mason, Amelia Samuels, Eloise Walker
The Irish team was also announced on Tuesday, with six athletes selected for Aarhus.
Two-time Euro Cross champion Fionnuala McCormack will be joined by Sara Treacy in the senior women’s team, while Sean Tobin and Kevin Dooney are named for the senior men’s squad. Darragh McElhinney and Jamie Battle have been named for the under-20 men’s event.