Saturday 21 April 2018

McCormack all smiles with second

ATHLETICS

Fionnuala McCormack took second place for the fourth consecutive year at the Great Edinburgh Cross Country on Saturday. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Fionnuala McCormack took second place for the fourth consecutive year at the Great Edinburgh Cross Country on Saturday. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Cathal Dennehy

Fionnuala McCormack produced a typically battling performance to take second place for the fourth consecutive year at the Great Edinburgh Cross Country on Saturday, the 32-year-old coming home 21 seconds behind Kenyan-born Turkish winner Yasemin Can in the 6km race.

McCormack forged her way up to second on the final lap in Holyrood Park, overtaking Meryem Akda - another Kenyan Turk - who had finished second and well clear of McCormack at last month's European Championships in Italy.

"I love it here," said McCormack. "I have run here so often and out on the course it's like home support, there were so many people cheering."

McCormack finished a disappointing fifth at the Europeans, but put that run behind her on a course that proved more suited to her style.

"It was tough, but good," she said. "I enjoyed myself more than the Euros partly because of the course and partly because I was feeling better."

Mick Clohisey was also in action for Europe in the men's race, the Dubliner finishing 26th in a race won by Leonard Korir of the US.

Britain's Mo Farah had a poor start to his 2017 campaign, the multiple Olympic champion never featuring towards the front of the race and eventually coming home seventh in 24:49.

In the mixed 4x1km relay, the Irish quartet of John Travers, Ciara Mageean, Kieran Kelly and Kerry O'Flaherty finished fourth in 11:22, 12 seconds behind winners Great Britain.

Irish Independent

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