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UK Athletics

Heat is on in Italy

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Wendy Nicholls
Michelle Ross Cope
Michelle Ross Cope
Louise Damen
Louise Damen


14 October 2007


The Norwich Union Great Britain and Northern Ireland team was reduced to two athletes by the end of the IAAF World Road Running Championships in Udine on Sunday.


Following the earlier withdrawal of Jo Pavey – who had been due to compete in last month’s Great North Run before injury ruled her out – the threesome of Louise Damen (Winchester and District), Wendy Nicholls (Cirencester AC) and Michelle Ross Cope (City of Stoke) lined up at the Italian venue.


However Damen, who had been the victim of a freak accident at the start of last week’s Chichester 10k where she was hit by a barrier that had been knocked over at the start, suffered badly from the start and was forced to pull out of the race before reaching halfway.


“I just had a total and utter nightmare,” said Damen. “ I just didn’t feel right from the start. I’m still cut and bruised from last week but I thought I would be ok but I didn’t feel good at all. My foot which had a niggle since last week was getting sorer and sorer.


“I’m really disappointed but I felt I had to give it a go, I’m still fairly young in terms of running half marathons and marathons so I have to look forward from this.”


In a race where the world record was broken by Lornah Kiplagat with 66 minutes and 25 seconds, Ross-Cope finished 40th in 1.13.45, whilst Nicholls was 49th in 1.16.54.


Team manager Bill Foster said: “It was a little bit up and down for the team but that’s running for you. I’m disappointed for Louise as she’s been in good shape – but she’s badly bruised and I definitely think last weekend played a part. Michelle and Wendy ran well in a competitive race – the times at the front of the field as we saw were phenomenal.”


For further news and results, visit the Road Running Championships website.