FIONNUALA Britton's strong desire to have a team supporting her at the World Cross-Country Championships in Poland next month has been answered, writes Cliona Foley.
Athletics Ireland (AAI) have confirmed that they will definitely be sending a women's team to Bydgoszcz, even though it was not originally part of their high performance plan for 2013.
They have pre-selected Ireland's top four finishers at Europeans – Britton, Linda Byrne, Ava Hutchinson and Lizzie Lee – to be part of it, and will add two more, based on form, before the March 11 deadline.
North Sligo's Mary Cullen is already a front-runner to join them and her successful recent return to competition after an 18-month absence through injury has been pivotal in persuading AAI that sending a team is worthwhile.
AAI high performance manager Kevin Ankrom described Cullen's successful return to racing as "a game-changer" yesterday and if her form holds she should prove a particularly useful addition.
Athletics Ireland had come in for some criticism for not automatically sending a team with the status of reigning European champions.