Duarte throws down the gauntlet to britton
ATHLETICS: Sophie Duarte of France finished ahead of Fionnuala Britton as Ireland's two-time European cross-country champion took seventh place at the Cross de l'Acier in France.
Only African runners have been better than Britton in this race for the last two years and Kenyans took second, third and fourth yesterday in a race won by Ethiopia's Hiwot Ayalew in 22.30 minutes.
Duarte was fifth (22.54) , with Kenyan Cynthia Kosgei also ahead of Britton, (23.03) and the Frenchwoman looks set to be a serious threat when the Wicklow star bids for a hat-trick of European titles in Belgrade on December 8.
Ireland's Mick Mulhare (Portlaoise AC), fresh from winning silver at the Irish inter-counties a week ago, put in a decent run in the men's race where he finished 11th in 29:33 in a field that was also dominated by Kenyans and Ethiopians.
Kenya's Cornelius Kangogo won the race in 28.07.