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UK Athletics

Chiba and Euro Cross Pre-selections

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10 October 2007


Pre-selections have been made for the forthcoming Norwich Union Great Britain and Northern Ireland teams set to compete at the Chiba Ekiden Relay and the European Cross Country.

Defending European Cross Country Champions Mo Farah (Newham & Essex Beagles) and Steph Twell (Aldershot Farnham & District) have been pre-selected for the championships in Toro, Spain on 9 December.

Farah will also compete in the Chiba Ekiden, Japan on 23 November as UK Athletics seeks to field the strongest team possible in the prestigious relay.

Kate Reed (Bristol and West) and Emily Pidgeon (Gloucester AC) have also been chosen to compete in both the Ekiden and European Cross Country.

As the Liverpool Cross Challenge takes place the day after the Chiba Ekiden relays, athletes selected for the Ekiden will be unable to contest the trial for the European Cross Country.

Spencer Barden, UK Athletics’ Senior Coordinator for Endurance, said:

“With the Chiba Ekiden changing format so that countries now enter one mixed team the standard of opposition will further improve, therefore it is essential we send as strong a team as possible to secure a high position and guarantee our invite for future events.

“Pre-selecting Mo, Emily and Kate allows these athletes to concentrate on their preparations for both competitions. Mo’s form speaks for itself with his performances at the World Championships in Osaka, Brussels and in Newcastle.

“Kate Reed’s win in Chichester at the 10k championships and other recent road performances demonstrates her excellent form which will bolster the Ekiden team, whilst Emily’s bronze medal at the European Juniors this summer demonstrates her ability to put in strong performances on the big stage.

“Both Emily and Kate have strong records in the European Cross Country, but in making the journey to Japan to represent Great Britain, they will not be able to compete at the European Cross country trial in Liverpool.

“Finally, Steph has had a fantastic year and maintained excellent form – and selecting her now allows her and coach Mick Woods to fine tune their preparations for her title defence.”

The remainder of the team for the Ekiden will be announced following the National Road Relays at Sutton Park on 22 October. With the race now consisting of three male and three female athlete stages, three team slots remain to be selected as well as two travelling reserves.

Chiba Ekiden - 23 November, Chiba, Japan

Mo Farah (Newham & Essex Beagles)

Kate Reed (Bristol & West)

Emily Pidgeon (Gloucester AC)

European Cross Country Championships – 9 December, Toro, Spain

Senior Men

Mo Farah (Newham & Essex Beagles)

Senior Women

Kate Reed (Bristol & West)

Junior Women

Emily Pidgeon (Gloucester AC)

Steph Twell (Aldershot Farnham & District)