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UK Athletics

bupa great edinburgh cross marks start of exciting 2012 for twell

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Steph Twell

06 January 2012

Stephanie Twell (coach: Mick Woods) - speaking at today’s press conference ahead of the Bupa Great Edinburgh International Cross Country Challenge tomorrow (Saturday 7 January) in Holyrood Park - has confirmed that her focus for 2012 remains the Olympic Games 1500m, but she admitted that she wouldn’t rule out the possibility of competing in the 5000m.

“I’m definitely going for the 1500m, my 2010 was incredible and I know I can still achieve those performances,” said the Delhi Commonwealth Games bronze medallist who also finished fourth in the 5000m for Scotland. “I’d also like to do the 5000m because my cross country training lends itself to that, but my focus is the 1500m.”

After missing the entire summer of 2011 due to a serious ankle break in February, Twell returned to international duty for the Aviva Great Britain and Northern Ireland team at the SPAR European Cross Country Championships in Slovenia, and finished a credible fourth in the under-23 competition.

“I didn’t even expect to make the team,” she admitted, adding that it was a big decision to return to cross country at all after the injury she had sustained earlier in the year; “I only entered the Trials on the very last day, but I’ve always found it’s (cross country) the best way to get fit and I didn’t want to be inhibited by it after what happened. I knew I could never turn down a GB vest and I wanted to finish 2011 better than it started.”

Twell opens her 2012 campaign in the senior women’s 6km match event versus the USA and a European Select team - that includes European Cross Country champion Fionnuala Britton - which starts at 13:45 tomorrow.

The full Aviva GB & NI team can be found through the following link, although Annabel Gummow (Chris Wooldridge) is a late withdrawal due to illness and will be replaced by Poppy Blake (Stephen Williams), eighth junior in the McCain Liverpool Cross Challenge/European Cross Trial and sixth at the recent Lotto Cross Cup in Belgium.

Following each of the four international challenge races, each team’s totals will be added together to make a total points score; after the senior women’s event, the concluding event of the programme, the team with the lowest score will win the Bupa Great Edinburgh International Cross Country Challenge title.

The timetable for the four international events is:

  • Junior Men’s 6km (four to score): 11:55

  • Junior Women’s 4km (four to score): 12:30

  • Junior Women’s 4km (four to score): 12:30

  • Senior Men’s 8km (six to score): 13:05

A full report will follow post event on www.uka.org.uk and in addition, you can also keep up to date on results via Twitter at: @UKA_athletics