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UK Athletics

davies reflects on euro cross gold

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Jonny Davies
22 December 2015

Earlier this month, Jonny Davies (coach: Rob McKim) won individual gold in the U23 men’s race at the European Cross Country Championships in Hyères, France. It was a first continental title for the 21 year-old and he hopes he can build on his ‘best season to date’ in 2016.

Davies led the front pack for most of the race in France and had the strongest sprint finish to hold off his Spanish rival Carlos Mayo to seal the gold medal as well as collecting the Team Silver for the British team.

The Reading athlete said: “I’m over the moon to be European Cross champion. I came in thinking I had a chance of winning but you never quite believe it.

“I went to the front at the beginning because it wasn’t very quick so I thought I might as well run this at my own pace. Being at the front, I stayed out of trouble as well whereas I may not have done if I had stayed in the pack.”

A fast and fairly flat course in Hyères was a suitable proposition for the RunFast athlete and he was confident he could hold on to take the title for the first time.

“I’m not too bad on the track and that course suited me. I stayed quite calm during the race itself which made it quite easy to sit in the main pack. I had a little bit of extra strength near the end whereas my two rivals seemed to be tiring in the closing stages.”

Davies commented after victory at the Milton Keynes Cross Challenge at the beginning of November that he believed he would win a medal at the European Cross Country Championships and he was delighted to have reinforced his words by delivering the silverware.

“I remember a couple of years ago I was saying the same kind of things ahead of the junior race and it didn’t quite work out and I came fourth. However, it’s brilliant to have that as your target and then to actually come away with the gold medal.”

The University of Birmingham student reflects on the 2015 season as one of the best in his career and is encouraged ahead of a potentially exciting year ahead.

“It has been my best season to date. On the track I ran a big PB in the 5000m and I have carried that form into the cross country season and it is hopefully a good building block for next year.”

After heading back to Reading after the excitement of the Championship in France, Davies had chance to discuss plans for 2016 with his coach.

“I have had a sit down with my coach Rob this week and we have decided to do a couple more cross country races in the New Year including Edinburgh, potentially doing a road 10km in March and then I will head to Fort Romeu during the Easter break. Hopefully from there I’ll be capable of running quick times which will set me up nicely for the British Championships in June.”