Highlights from the European Cross Country Championships in Slovakia. GB finished second in the standings in 2016, winning men's team gold and individual bronze for Callum Hawkins.
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The European cross-country
champions, John Brown of Great
Britain. Ukraine win set! Paula
Radcliffe is coming home! The
champion in Europe.
The nine times European champion,
unbelievable. Great to win, she is a
Hayley yelling comes back from
retirement to win for the second
time. A fantastic run from Philander
Britain. Paula Radcliffe, goals for
Great Britain. Mo Farah takes the
gold medal at the cross country
Welcome to the 2017 European Cross
country Championships, traditionally
a happy hunting ground for British
athletes, especially in terms of
team medals. This year's event is in
Samorin, 12 miles south-east of the
capital Bratislava on the banks of
the Danube River. There are men's
and women's races. Under 23 and the
senior's with team medals also up
for grabs. The mixed relay is new
this year, flat and fast, with some
artificial obstacles which may
favour those with track pedigree.
Plenty to look forward to over the
A strong squad for Great Britain,
led by two-time redirect sky and
5,000-metre champion Andrew
Butchart. Turkey have their king in
imports, they have become the
dominant force in European Cross
country, the winners are both senior
titles are here to defend their
crowns. It could be the age groups
where there is most competition with
plenty medal hopes for Britain.
After success at the world Cross,
the mixed relay makes its first
appearance at European level. A few
minutes away from the senior men's
race. It may be difficult
individually. We have a strong,
Turkish contingent. Andrew Butchart,
leading Great Britain. Gary
Griffiths having a wonderful period
in his career. The senior men get
underway. The usual charge to the
fall. Two short laps first and then
six longer laps of around 1500
metres. That will at up to 10,000
metres cross-country running. It is
not difficult, but it will suit
quicker people. It is flat and fast.
Conditions underfoot are very good.
The cold weather has meant that the
ground hasn't cut up, it is firm
underfoot. Some obstacles for them
to contend with as they go around
but by and large it is a course
which is a bit different to that
which many would have faced
including Alex Teuten. Andy Prichard
going through strong, British
contingent in here, Gary Griffiths
has come off the brilliant marathon
performance in the autumn. Ben
Connor. Tom Lancashire. A lot of
experience in this British team.
They will be hoping that maybe they
can give something to think about.
They will be the prerace favourites
individually and in the team race.
Two small laps. Since big laps.
Hannah England joining me. Plenty of
success in the last few years. The
Turkish had been able to call on the
former Kenyan 's who have
transferred to Turkey. They have
dominated in recent years.
adds an unusual element to the race.
Traditionally, we haven't seen it. I
sometimes find it a bit frustrating
but here we go. We are already
getting... You can almost decided is
going to be a given race, that they
will have a heavy influence on the
results. It doesn't always happen. I
like to keep hope we might still get
an interesting race.
as to the fitness of Aras Kaya, won
last year. The defending champion.
We have heard he had a few problems
last year. He was going to go to the
under 23 race and in the end he
didn't run anything. Aras Kaya went
on to win. The two of them are
effectively the champion from 2015
and 2016, both called Kaya. We will
keep up-to-date with who is who.
Very strong contingent.
They've decided, though, they will
let the early pace beset by others.
The Spaniard is already up there, he
fancies his chances, adult Michelle,
he wants to give the Turkish athlete
something to think about he said. --
Adele chow. Andy Butchart went off
very quick with Callum Hawkins. He
got involved with Kaya.
In the end, Andy Butchart just
finished outside the medals. Setting
the pace in the early stages.
They've just dropped off a bit, the
pack is saddening. I think they will
be happy about it. -- the pack is
settling. Aras Kaya has gone down! I
wonder whether he just got clipped
The Belgian athlete might have just
clipped his heels. He went down and
is struggling to get back involved.
Probably in about 20th position,
maybe not that far back, maybe 15th
also. TOWIE Griffiths leading, Great
Britain going well. Andrew Butchart
is there as well.
Tom Lancashire. A lot of the names
that we thought would be up there in
the top ten, 12, 15.
There is the defending champion,
Aras Kaya. A little further back we
would have seen Aras Kaya as well.
Great Britain easily winning. Only
three to count, bit of a change from
previous years, always four. They
have changed it to make it three.
Theoretically to give more teams a
chance of getting involved in the
medals. Dewi Griffiths looking
comfortable. They are probably
wondering where on earth the Turkish
athletes are. It's no surprise to
see Andy Butchart having a go. Great
Britain leading in the team race
with seven points. Hang on a minute,
Dewi Griffiths is just stopping.
Dewi is holding his groin area. If
he even has a slight injury I would
be rugby tackling him to say stop.
He has a year ahead of him. He has
qualified for the marathon, he needs
to... The team will do well without
him today. For him this was a big
opportunity but if he is injured, he
needs to stop. It is pointless
keeping going. He is only going to
risk further injury. I am trying to
see whether he is trying to get
running again. Anyway, that leaves
them in front. These three starting
to pull away a bit, it is terrible
news for Dewi Griffiths. Let's hope
it is not too serious.
Heartbreaking. My worry is that he
is so tough in such a team player
that I really hope he can make that
smart call today. Perhaps it is the
cold weather. It is very cold.
Perhaps just a muscle strain, that
is what we can hope for. That it
won't impede his preparations for
the marathon in the spring.
go. Plenty of time. -- two laps to
go. Another 11 minutes of running,
something of that nature. You can
see in the background, I am not sure
he is getting much closer. Aras Kaya
Has had to work hard to even give
himself a chance. 12-15 seconds
behind the leaders. Mecchaal Sensing
it. Ben Connor struggling a bit.
Andy Butchart still in bed.
Those are the first to six.
Quite a good gap between the
leaders. 12 seconds to Aras Kaya.
That is the same as the previous
lap, he's made no ground on that
lap. We will look to the British
third counter. As I said, I think
Tom Lancashire was going in the
wrong direction in terms of
position. Dewi Griffiths dropping
out, that may well also be... One
time that the senior men have to
work hard in the team race.
incredibly competitive, the senior
men's race. You see a lot of
countries come very well prepared.
Britain have as well. It is hard
when you lose one of your front
runners like him. Hopefully it is
just a nickel, not an injury. A lot
can change. Like you said, still ten
minutes of running here. A lot of
people go through bad patches, go
backwards and then forward.
Lancashire is the third counter.
They are not that far away, only 11
points behind Turkey. It is very
close for the medals. The positions
are changing so much that Andy
Butchart is now third. Mechaal
pushes on. Ben Connor leading the...
Not the chasing group at the hanging
on group in fourth place at the
moment. May well come into some
threat from behind us. Aras Kaya has
moved into seventh position past his
team-mate. Mechaal, now, what a
story it would be for him to come
and win this. He was talking a good
game for these championships. Most
people were looking elsewhere for
the winner. Thought he would run
well, thought he would be close to
the medals. But this is a real push
from him, now. Still got plenty of
running to do. Andy Butchart has got
to stick in. He needs to make sure
he stays strong, there are some
athletes particularly Aras Kaya who
may have continued to surge in the
latter stages. At the moment, it is
Spain first, Turkey second and Great
Mechaal isn't making any ground up
but I can't figure out why he is
looking behind every 20 metres. He
is leading the race, he is doing
something right. I would love to see
him relax a bit more and focus on
If the person behind you is going to
catch you, you will know without
having to look round as he is
probably well aware, now. You are
right. It is starting to get on my
nerves. Look at Ozbilen, thinking
enough is enough. That is a sign to
the person behind, when you look
around, Legrand, the ground, the
person behind things you are not
that confident. -- look behind, look
behind, look behind. That is a brave
move for Ozbilen. Beginning of the
last lap he is leading. Two laps to
go. I am hearing the bell. I think
it is one big lap and then the home
straight which is why it says two
laps to go. Ben Connor in fifth
That gap to the leaders is now 20
Despite his fall, he is in seventh
place but he will not be able to
close that gap. You wouldn't think.
Another look behind, there's no
danger. Andy Butchart still in third
place. He is starting to tire a bit.
Safe in third, a big gap between him
and the chasers. Only another two or
three minutes of running to go. In
this European Cross country
Championships. Ozbilen of Turkey
needs. Not the athlete we would have
expected to be out there, his two
team-mates, Aras Kaya and the two
champions from the year before had
not had a good day. Ali Kaya not in
great shape. Aras Kaya took a fall
in the early stages and hasn't
recovered. He is giving chase.
Moving into about fifth position.
You can see him in the background.
He will run out of time. What about
Mechaal? The indoor European
champion, we thought we might have
enough from him. Missed out at the
World Championships at 1500 metres.
It cannot find the strength to
unleash a bit of a sprinter. He
can't stay close enough to Ozbilen
at Ozbilen is the one that will, we
here for the win. Not the person who
you would have expected. His
preparation for this was Istanbul
marathon. That was one of his last
races, not the sort of thing that is
ideal preparation. He has done
superbly well. He has grabbed hold
of the race in the last lap and made
his move when he needed to. He kept
the pressure on Mechaal and he has
finally buckled and accepted the
silver medal. Ozbilen of Turkey.
They retain their title as a nation
as they have done in recent years.
It is a different name, Ozbilen, the
champion for 2017. Mechaal jogging
across the line. He takes the silver
medal for Spain.
Waldo and Andy Butchart, taking the
Waldo and Andy Butchart, taking the
bronze medal. -- well done Andy
Butchart. Ben Connor is the next to
cross the line, good performance in
six of the Great Britain. The
defending champion after the fall, a
little bit of applause, and maybe
for himself. Just crossing the line
there in seven.
A brave run from Michelle, and she
nearly pulled it off, and great to
see Andy Butchart converted into
third. He could have used the summer
season as an excuse not to turn up.
I am sure he has big focuses this
year but he has applied himself
today and it's a tremendous response
They all start piling
across the line.
We are looking for the next British
contender, Tom Lancashire. Third
across the line the Great Britain.
-- for Great Britain. A fine win in
the end from Ozbilen. A good run
from Ben Connor as well as Andy
Butchart to finish in the top ten.
Ingebrigsten in 11th as we go
further down. Tom Lancashire, the
third British runner. A gold medal
for Turkey. Great Britain and
Northern Ireland are secure in third
with 35 points and take the bronze
Ozbilen came back and showed us how
it was done, but I kept my plan well
and I'm happy just to get that
place. I've been out for the past
month, but this is still my base
phase before the Commonwealth games
and I'm not in the right shape yet
and I'm peaking at a later date and
I have room for improvement.
pick out into few names as we go
through the start list here.
Goretzka, great to see her leading a
strong team. That is a very good
Turkish team which will do well, and
Bobocel from Romania. Mc Cormack
setting a record four appearances in
the female event, and she will be
hoping she can wind the clock back.
The senior women are poised and at
The British girls look ready for
On your marks.
The senior women get underway and an
intriguing race in prospect. The
defending champion from Turkey, and
the former Kenyon, who was dominant
last year. Will she try and do the
same here going from the start or
will some of the other contenders
and the British contingent, led by
Gorecka, and Gemma Steel and Steph
Twell, a lot of experience, and
backup from lots of other talent. An
intriguing racing prospect. One
small lap of 450 metres then they
head onto the big lap the five times
and that will complete all of this
hard, fast running on this course,
which was and I wouldn't say it was
a great con -- cross-country test
but it is the traditional winter
test and it is cold with the wind
blowing hard but there are some
obstacles for them to negotiate but
nothing to difficult and nothing to
break up the rhythm. It is the terms
that do that. Lily Partridge up
there for Great Britain, but they
have already settled down as they
make their way around this first
small lap. Come on, Hannah, what
would you do today? If they go off
hard, do they go with her or let her
go or do they think she is in not
sure which form and this is the year
to maybe not Challenger?
I would say
you have to give it a go and go with
her. Which is easy for me to say sat
here. She had a great world
championship and she has been mixing
it with all sorts of athletes on the
track season outdoor and I think she
has to have the confidence to go for
it. The last couple of years we have
seen the likes of Bobocel from
Romania, and Gemma Steel, and these
guys, maybe take it to the Turkish
girls. They have nothing to lose.
I'm not saying they were handing it
to them, and it's hard work to run
with the leader, but it's worth
taking a risk and seeing what
happens because sometimes the
Turkish athlete can be unpredictable
and you never know what will happen.
. So, the early stages, and there
are five women already pulling clear
of the pack another one there who
had a good progression on the track
as well, the tall, Swiss athlete.
The pressure is on Jan to take it on
to her. I'm sure they have been
going on the all-weather training
and they will have run this scenario
over and over in their head. The
nerves might dissipate because it is
familiar. This is what they were
preparing for and what they were
The defending champion
with a big lead. Just extending the
lead, but the battle for the lead is
impressive. A great race by the
Romanians. The chase is on.
Charlotte Taylor having a fabulous
run. Steph Twell not far behind
either. Still chances for the
British athletes. And they are doing
very well. Charlotte Taylor having a
cracking run ahead of Steph Twell
and Gorecka, who won the British
trials but on completely different
ground. That is what cross-country
doors. It is horses for courses will
stop there she is, and making good
progress. Still time here, but
Charlotte Taylor is moving well.
This is the battle for silver and
bronze. And you just wonder that if
Grovdal breaks, if she could get
away. But she is working really hard
to get onto well -- onto her. Bahta
is the better exponent on the track
at 5000 metres. And there is
Charlotte Taylor now. It looks like
a big gap and these two are working
well together. Grovdal is pushing on
and Bahta is pushing on as they take
the bell. The leader, Can has one
more lap to complete. She is clear
in the lead was last year. Maybe not
quite as dominant as last year and
her teammate is nowhere to be seen.
And it is Grovdal, the
bronze-medallist from last year, who
is contending second with Bahta, and
then a bit of a gap to Charlotte
Taylor. Charlotte is having a great
race, trying to push on in fourth
place. Schlumpf is ahead of the next
group of athletes. Steph Twell is
into the last lap as well. So, the
leader comes to take this tricky
water jump the last time. The ice
bath as we now call it. A little
downhill section meaning they can
take off or miss it out completely,
which you might want to one a day
like this when it is covered in ice.
Here is the battle for second place.
Bahta and Grovdal locked together.
You might have thought Bahta would
want to sit and wait. Not the
quickest on the track but she has
good speed. Grovdal is no slouch.
Neither of them with total
confidence in the finishing kick
which is why they look as though
they may be to break the pace.
Grovdal was the leader, but Bahta
finds herself a metre ahead of her
teammate. Those two are ten seconds
ahead of Charlotte Taylor of Great
Britain in fourth.
It's a great
battle between second and third,
going hammer and tongs. It is great
to see people throwing moves at each
other and trying to see who has got
the most and it will be a great
finish for those two.
closing stages for Can of Turkey.
She has got great pedigree in terms
of European racing now. She is the
European 10,000 metres champion on
the track from Amsterdam in 2015.
She will be the first person to
defend the title from Fionnuala
McCormack. Here is the battle for
second and third. Bahta and Grovdal,
long way behind Can, who has just
the last turn to make an alternative
home straight and repeat the feat of
last year. No surprise that she
comes home to take the title. She
was the prerace favourite. Not sure
it was as dominant performance as
last year but whenever you win any
title by this sort of distance
you've done pretty well. So Can of
Turkey takes the medal and repeat of
last year. Defends her title in fine
style. All smiles and she will be
delighted with that. A bit of a hard
run out there today. A great battle
for the silver medal, and Grovdal
just finishes ahead of Grovdal.
Sweden ahead of Norway will stop and
it might well be a scrap for fourth
place. With Charlotte Taylor trying
to hold of Barca, and there is
Schlumpf, and it looks like it will
be Barca of Romania coming in. That
was a very good finish with
Charlotte Taylor coming in behind
the German in sixth place. And
Schlumpf in sevens. Just waiting for
the other British athletes to cross
the line. Emilia Gorecka and Steph
Twell. Great Britain with those
three finishing together they do not
need the four counters, so Gemma
Steel will be the third counter, not
Steph Twell but all four of them the
top ten. The gold medal goes to Can
from Turkey. A good performance from
the British team with Charlotte
Taylor excellent in sixth. Eight,
ninth and tenth. There is the
British team. Led by Charlotte
Taylor. And a great performance from
her. Emilia Gorecka and generally
other counters. Steph Twell not far
behind, and again the British women
coming out on top. 23 points for
Great Britain and Northern Ireland,
head of Romania, who packed up
really well. Turkey might be
disappointed with their bronze
medal. 54 points but they do have
the individual gold-medallist. Some
great performances there and it's
been a good year for it.
races are won and the medals are
gained the record is broken and the
punches thrown. After the hard
yards, the hard games are done, the
Giants conquered and the trophies
edged for ever. After the legends
have taken their bow there is only
one thing left to decide. The BBC
sports personality of the year 2017,
live from Liverpool.
The distance they are going to
compete over -- over in this under
23 race is 8230 metres exactly. 85
entrants and 24 different countries
hoping they can pick up a team
medal. So the British team have
Daniel Jarvis. And Mahamed Mahamed,
his first attempt in the under 23
is, and he will be right there.
Chris Olley, Joe Steward -- Joe
Steward and Jack Rowe. It will be
tough for Great Britain to follow
Mahamed Mahamed through. That is as
far as the team raises concern. --
the team race is concerned. Away
they go. One short lap and they will
head out onto the big lap, five
times around that. The big sprint,
and it's only 64 people, actually,
80, it was 64 in the women's race.
No need to get the elbows out too
much although they have started
quickly. Mahamed Mahamed leading the
charge from Britain on the left of
the picture and he has got himself
involved nice and early. And it will
take a while for it to settle down
with one or two of the others who
were expecting to figure who have
decided not to start quite as
quickly. They don't really need to.
It's amazing how quickly it settles
down after the sprint at the
beginning. Sometimes a little
unnecessary. You have the days of
the world Cross country where they
do that and they don't slow down and
they just keep going at that pace
and you have to be careful. But in
this one they will slow down. The
Swiss runner having his glory moment
at the front, just wondering why
everybody else is not joining him,
and that may be because you are
going a bit too quick.
Going well with Mohamed Mohamed
starting to push on at the front.
That is a good move to make. You are
getting into the part of the race
where you really don't want to have
too many people hanging around.
Crippa us is thinking the same
thing. France packing very well
indeed. Chaplin only having a bit of
a struggle. Crippa won't see his
team-mate but he might see that this
burst is having an effect. Mayo is
thinking that he needs to cover
this. He is one of the main rivals.
Plenty of running left in this. An
early bid from Crippa but decisive.
He looks good. Look at the pressure
he has put on the other guys, they
do not look as good as Crippa in the
front. Maybe he has a poker face,
maybe he is working harder than it
looks. They are coming back to him.
Two laps to go?
It is not short.
This is a long bid for home. He
looks confident. He has the
experience. I don't see Mayo giving
up easily but he looks like he is
working harder at the moment.
one of the prerace favourites. But
that big effort, was that too early?
Did he get a bit overexcited? He was
obviously feeling good. But this
race is far from over. The two
Frenchmen are starting to hunt him
down. I like Gressier, he is that
typical... Not a great track
exponent, typical cross-country
runner. Crippa perhaps a bit more
pedigree. A bit more of a
thoroughbred. He is the European
under 23 5,000-metre champion. He
knows what it is like to win a title
in this age group. On the track it
isn't different matter. He will have
pace but I'm not sure how much pace
Gressier has. You might want to try
to get ahead of the Italian before
the closing stages. -- he might
want. What about the other
Frenchmen, Hugo Hay? He is just
hovering, not doing anything, not
getting involved in this title. He
made a big effort to get onto the
two of them. It looks as though he
is having to work a bit more to hang
onto them. Closing stages, three men
Hay just drifted up
very nicely past those guys. Perhaps
going through a bad patch but
capitalised on that momentum going
through the field. He needs to hold
onto these guys.
Jimmy Gressier is
making a big bid. Still got a bit of
work to do. Gressier is sprinting
for home. Still got another turn to
make. Into the home straight. It
looks as though he has got this one.
No challenge coming from his
team-mate Hay and Crippa has given
this one up completely. He went too
early. The Frenchman will finish out
on top, what a shock. Gressier
finally wins a medal at the European
Cross country Championships. The
under 23 champion. Look at his
team-mate, Hugo Hay. He is jubilant
in second place. France with three
in the top four, Crippa just hung on
for the bronze medal. But it will be
France who get double gold.
Individually and in the team race.
What a performance from Jimmy
Gressier. Covered the first move by
Mayo and then covered the move by
Crippa. He had enough strength to
push on in the closing stages.
Congratulations, twice forth in the
junior ranks but is now champion.
Gressier taking the gold by just two
seconds from his team-mate Hay.
Perhaps Crippa disappointed to win
the -- win the bronze medal. Faded
on the last lap, Mahamed Mahamed.
The third British counter. Good news
for Great Britain. They just managed
to sneak a head of Spain to take the
France, just seven points. Great
performance from them to take the
gold. The British under 23 men will
be delighted they have got on the
roster with a bronze medal.
Let's enjoy the under 23. This will
be a great spectacle. As you said,
you will be interested to see how
the rest of the British contingent
Amy Griffiths, gesture and
Phoebe Law have won 18 gold medal as
juniors in 2014. They're getting
another chance to get together as a
team to get another medal. Hopefully
they can do that today.
officials does it take to start a
race? There is a three, one to hold
the clipboard, one to hold the gun
and one to hold the loudspeaker. The
loudspeaker has been duly held, good
job, mate. Away we go. In the
women's under 23 race. A real front
running bonanza we could see here.
It would be really interesting. The
likes of Mola, there are others in
here, a very good Danish athlete. --
the likes of.
Great Britain very well represented.
The individual medal in terms of
Jess we would hope the Germany is
the favourite. To take the team gold
medal. Great Britain won't want to
be too far away. Only three to
count. We are an favour of the
German quartet. If they were to
falter, Britain will be hoping they
can steal it. Certainly 18 medal up
for grabs. Four laps, six
kilometres. Jessica Judd. Amy
Griffiths you can just see.
Neale also right up there. This is
the first interesting thing. I was
wondering whether Klosterhalfen,
having had her fingers burned by
Reh, at their Championships might
think I will do something different.
But it is very hard to get a leopard
to change their spots. Klosterhalfen
already to the fore. And Reh
thinking this is a bit early, but I
know I need to keep my eye on you
and gesture at the same. At the
moment Klosterhalfen started
brilliant, she is a massive talent.
She has had a phenomenal couple of
years. The times that she is
producing at such a young age on the
track is incredible. But it is about
that expectation. That despite her
young age, people will say, she has
got to contest for medals.
Absolutely. With the times. At least
she is halfway there. She has got
the times. It is about honing the
tactical ability. She is hard as
nails. Time and again she goes off
the front. Half the impressive times
she has done on her own at the
front. That is very intimidating and
that is a way to run races, we have
seen people do that internationally.
Maybe that will have to be had
tactic because that is her strength.
Jessica Judd clear in third. Trying
to go with Jess to hang onto that
possible medal. Neale and Griffiths
packing well behind Jessica Judd. I
would say Great Britain probably
leading the team standings at this
That is great from Britain.
We need to keep an eye on this third
German girl to see what she does.
Fascinating to see this domestic
rivalry playing out on the European
stage. Jess is eating into that gap
a tiny bit. You could have maybe
these two will get a bit tactical
and lose sight of the race overall
and watch each other. That would
give Jess and in. Perhaps they will
exhaust each other, trying to race
each other and not remember about
the rest of the field. Jess will put
absolutely everything out there
today. What a result she gets, it
will be the maximum of her
potential. And that whatever result.
I would not want to raise her flat
out on a six K calls, she has every
chance of getting back up to these
girl that may be giving them a scare
-- six kilometre course.
good performance from Reh, the
writing was on the wall a bit at the
German championships when this
happened. A repeat performance.
Beating her more famous team-mate,
Klosterhalfen, she will be secure in
second place. Great Britain's Jess
Judd running another strong race.
Very clear in third. Bronze medal is
hers. A long way ahead of her
team-mates. It will be a leaner ref
who will take this title, I am
pretty sure. -- it will be Reh. Lots
of these at the end. Judging pace
perfectly well well. -- judging her
pace perfectly well.
Brauer keeping Company with Neale
and she needs to be aware. Moller.
As they enter the last lap. Position
is becoming settled.
Deadly group starting to come
through. -- a big group starting.
Watching these two disappear into
the distance. Reh putting a bit of
pressure up and opening up the gap.
Jess Judd. A lonely race as Hannah
was saying, couldn't get in terms
early on. And once these two moved
away, she was pretty much on her
own. For a while it looked as though
she could hang on, keep them within
sight, within striking distance but
These two have worked
incredibly hard over the last couple
of laps. Two or three kilometres,
these German girls have pushed each
other away from Jess, benefited a
lot from having each other's
company. Curious, for me, it is my
racing style versus Klosterhalfen,
but she has a fast 800 metres
personal best, surely, sit, take a
ride. Cooking is changed over eight
country race versus a track race,
but it is a gut instinct, that push
and that lead. A clash between these
two with very similar running
styles. It looks like Reh will come
out on top today.
can see that she is trying to raise
up one last effort. She gets good
times. Partly because she is just so
strong. It is that change of pace
that she struggles with. I think
Reh, look, she doesn't have the same
times in terms of personal bests
that Klosterhalfen does. But in
these one-on-one races like this, as
we see here, Reh has just got that
bit of power the Klosterhalfen
doesn't have. She is putting it to
good effect. They have had the race
between them since the start. It
will be Reh to take the gold medal
in the women's under 23. Germany one
and two, Klosterhalfen, the former
junior champion yacht not able to
convert it to a gold medal in the
under 23, they were one and two in
the same position in the German
championships. And so it has turned
out in the European. Jessica Judd, a
long, lonely battle for Jessica Judd
but a good bronze medal for her. Has
to watch the two Germans run away
from her in the last two kilometres.
A very tired Jess Judd coming across
the line. It has been a hard days
work for Jess, hopefully she is OK.
Great Britain doing really well.
Neale rallying to get ahead of Amy
Griffiths. That will pretty much
cement them in the gold medal
Reh, really dominant performance.
Hard work. There is the smile.
Congratulations. The hugs for the
What a display by
Britain, once again, at the European
Cross country Championships.
really happy with the way I ran it,
couldn't have done any more. I am
exhausted but really happy.
of the team race, Great Britain
confirmed not by much in the end.
It wasn't good enough to back up the
one that two finish for the Germany
team. Great Britain, once more
taking the gold in the under 23 and
Germany, the silver. There is
Premier League football on five
An in-depth look at the contenders
for BBC sports personality of the
If you are enjoying the racing
today, Chiudinelli and in the New
Year: -- tune in.
Over 100 athletes taking part, 26
different countries. A late change,
Phoebe Barker having come in
overnight. Wallace has had to pull
out. Harriet Knowles-Jones leads the
team, one of the prerace favourites
having won a medal at the last
championships. This is last year in
the race in the under 20s before
moving through to the seniors or the
under 23 is in future years. She has
won a medal. On the last two
occasions. Can she turn it to go
Just a bit of a gap beginning to
appear. Harriet Knowles-Jones moves
alongside Lau, this very good Dutch
athlete tucked in behind. Trying to
stay with them. They are starting to
stretch a little bit. Sclabas
working hard to stay. Working very
hard, look at her action. I wouldn't
like to see her on a muddy course,
either. She has plenty of movement
going on, even on a course like
this. Sitting in fifth place. Along
with hungry, Toth.
Hughes. 15th. And 20th.
To be fair, they will have to keep
moving through. Although I can see
she is already doing that. This
could be a closer fair this year. We
do so well in this junior women's
event normally, great history
individually. As well as the team
race. It would be a surprise if we
didn't do well in the team race.
They are heading out on the last of
the big laps. Still just the four of
Seven second gap and then the others
going through. We are watching for
the positions, that team race. The
Dutch are doing well. Also in the
top ten for them. They will be
looking for their third counter. It
could well be tied in terms of the
team competitions. Britain with such
a good record in this. They will be
looking for individual glory but
they will want a team gold medal.
Harriet Knowles-Jones for the first
time trying to break up this group
and take this. She is having to work
hard, to break it up. The two
medallists from the European
5,000-metre championships last
summer chasing her. For the first
time a real gap appearing. Great
Britain are leading. Last lap in
terms of the team race. The
Netherlands not able to find a third
counter, they are in sixth place. A
reasonable amount of breathing space
for the British team. Working hard
but needs to keep going on this last
lap, positions can change quite
significantly. But the good news is
at the front, Harriet Knowles-Jones
with a five, six-metre lead that is
growing all of the time. There is no
response from those behind. She has
only got about maybe a little over
800 metres running left.
They turn into the finishing
straight. That is where you see the
gantry ahead and Juno -- and you
know that you have done everything
you need to do and that is a
significant victory for Harriet
Knowles-Jones. Surprise me that she
has got ahead of both of the two
track specialists. So Harriet
Knowles-Jones with a lot of British
support, even though we're out in
Slovakia. Plenty of people make an
app -- annual pilgrimage to these
championships partly because Britain
gets so much success. The under 20
women's race won by Harriet
Knowles-Jones. The first time she
can call herself the European
cross-country championship --
champion. Well done to Harriet
Knowles-Jones. In a tight sprinter
get the silver medal, and she has
been rewarded with a silver for Can
for Hungary. And we will watch for
the next British athletes -- Toth
from Hungary. It will probably be
Karl Cook -- Cari Hughes. Mhlanga
then. Three counters, and that is
enough, so we can pretty much
confirmed that Harriet Knowles-Jones
is the individual gold-medallist and
Great Britain will win the team race
as well. A gold for Harriet
Knowles-Jones, the European
cross-country champion. The third
time of asking. Three individual
medals in her three years in the
junior ranks. Toth with a good
silver medal ahead of the German.
And all of the British team packing
in well with four in the top 12.
Confirming their position as
champions again in the under 20s.
Confirmation of the team race with
Great Britain winning comfortably
with a good silver for Italy and
Spain finishing ahead of the
Netherlands who could not quite find
a good third counter to get
themselves amongst the medals. So
once again Great Britain, and not
the first time we have taken both
I knew it was my last junior
international so I knew I wanted
that win and I'm so pleased. I did
not know how far I came in I just
went straight for it and I don't
know where the rest of them came in.
I am so chuffed. Second and third
two Reeva tape and to have the
national anthem played, that is so
exciting -- to break the tape.
A very special moment for one of our
top junior athletes finishing her
junior career on a high. The highest
position she can attain, winning a
gold medal for Britain and Northern
So the men will be next, the under
20 men. And probably one of the big
names in the sport, in Europe,
anyway, to look out for, the
defending champion, Jacobin
Ingebrigsten, from a famous
Ingebrigsten family from Norway.
They have four laps, six K. Jake
Heyward had a great run there.
Richardson. And Matt Willis. So the
junior men get underway. Six
kilometres. For long laps, and you
don't have to worry about the short
one. A big sprint. Some people think
that he might have a chance of
picking up a medal here, Rusu.
that he might have a chance of
picking up a medal here, Rusu. Will
be interesting to see the tactics
from Ingebrigsten. You do not have
do absolutely sprint and you can see
that they are settling down a little
bit already. Ingebrigsten just
waiting and waiting as we see the
rest of the field are starting to
struggle to stay with them. Gonzalez
of Spain are joining the top group.
He is the one trying to hang onto
them. Ben Dijkstra is struggling a
little. Suddenly the pace has picked
up, and that big group is completely
blown apart, so it is down to just
five at the moment. Ingebrigsten is
the defending champion. It is the
two Frenchmen who are setting the
pace. Barbarossa of Turkey there.
Gonzalez working hard there.
crunch time. Five people for three
medals. He will be giving it
everything at this stage. And it is
great to see the Spanish guys have
stuck together. And they would have
been hoping to start at this rate.
So it is Matthew Willis as the first
British counter and it's a great run
if he manages that. Hopefully Ben
can be inspired by having him in
front to make an start to work
together. And the Turkish guy is
going for it. Must be getting near
to the finish because that is an
A little bit early
for me. He is probably thinking it
is smart because he went outkicked
them. He still has a long run here.
Still another turn to make then into
the home straight. He is the Balkan
cross-country champion but
Ingebrigsten still looks pretty
calm. And Gilavert has gone into the
bronze position. They are the last
turn. Ingebrigsten has surely got
enough here, the defending champion.
He eases his weight and Barbaros has
done enough to take the silver. But
it is a Ingebrigsten of Norway who
defends the title successfully with
a big sprint finish. Barbaros with
the silver and Gilavert taking the
bronze ahead of his teammate. And
just crossing the line and Ben
Dijkstra is behind. And it will be
an anxious wait for the British
contingent to see if that is going
to be good enough to win a team
medal for them. And I thought that,
it looked pretty comfortable for
Ingebrigsten but may be harder work
than he expected. He had to wait and
wait and Barbaros, just a second
maybe gave him some doubts but he
looked comfortable when he eased
It is hard work when you are
having everything to you --
everything to lose and the pressure
is on you. Anything other than a win
would be an upset, but those guys
did take it to him and I'm sure it
In terms of the British
team, Matt Willis, 14th and Ben
Dijkstra was 17. Spain have
definitely won the team race.
The gold medal goes to Ingebrigsten,
defending his title, which he won
easily last year. A bit moral battle
this year. Barbaros just to seconds
behind. Matt Willis was the first of
the British athletes in 14th head of
Ben Dijkstra, who faded when the
pace got going. The third counter
was Will Richardson in 25th. Scott
Beattie just behind him. And Jake
Heyward in 30th.
Those are the results of the team
race and the last lap put paid to
the British chances as they finished
in sixth. Spain take the gold medal
ahead of France and it was pretty
tight. Turkey coming through and
there is written in sixth place. The
Mixed Relay is about to get
underway. 11 teams.
On your marks.
The first-ever mixed relay at the
championships. Teams of four with
women going first then they
alternate. Lilly Courtney going on
the leg for Britain.
metres on each leg. Charlie Grice
was meant to be in the team but he
had to pull out in the week and Tom
Marshall stepped in, so it will be
Sarah McDonald with Tom Marshall and
Cameron Boyek may have every chance
of winning the race. Strong teams
from the Czech Republic in
particular, and Germany will hope to
go well and Turkey am sure. Millie
Courtney deciding she will not hang
around. And given the shape she was
in all of this year and she still is
at the moment that is the right
thing to do.
This is a great run
from Millie. Great strength. This
sort of hard effort will suit and
you might as well put the pain the
others. They are thinking, really,
you want to go that hard? She would
be ale to hold it into the finish
with that strength.
is trying to hang on as Spain take
the initiative. Parreira of Spain
doing a good job as they come
towards the end of the first lap and
head towards the changeover. Millie
Courtney is trying to hang on and
keep Britain in the race. They want
to win the gold, never mind a medal.
These three teams have pulled clear
on the first lap and the clock is
ticking towards five minutes. They
have an extra bit to run from the
start line. That 1500 metre best for
Vrzlova means she's doing a good job
for her team. Courtney is doing well
and she cannot get to root --
detach. We thought the Czech
Republic would be going well. It
might be Holusa on the next leg and
then want next. -- Sasinek next.
Hopefully they can latch on and it's
a really strong run from the Czech
Republic to open up the gap.
front, Germany I had a bit, then
Czech Republic, Spain and Great
Britain. You would have been
surprised if we said this is how it
would going to end up at the start.
The Czech Republic with a strong
team they have a lucid come the last
leg. Cameron Boyek has had a good
season so far, indoors as well. He
needs to be a bit patient. He's got
back involved, and he needs to get
settled and if he feels good in the
last couple of hundred metres maybe
This is an important leg
for the Czech team. Perhaps their
weakest member of the team but it's
put the minute great position to the
starting leg. And you wonder. Did he
relax and let the others were card?
Why not use that first 400 save your
legs and then you can run hard for
the last three quarters. And we have
a good race in this leg.
news is a gap is appearing to Spain,
so the great British and Czech
Republic, we thought they were the
best teams on paper and Cameron
Boyek is doing a good job of putting
Sasinek under pressure. You can see
him grabbing for the wristband that
they need to hangover. -- handover.
It will be Sarah McDonald now
running for Great Britain, and she
has company with the Czech Republic,
then a small gap to Spain. Well done
to the two of them with both of them
pleased with their run.
run from Cameron. Times is ever
perfectly. He put Sarah in such a
great position for this third leg --
he times it perfectly.
as best she can to try and put as
much distance between herself and
the others, but Mackie is rallying.
Sarah has to finish this well.
have got to get going because Holusa
has a deadly finish and you want to
make him work as hard as possible.
If you leave it, he will be right on
it. What a tremendous effort.
McDonald getting the wristband
ready, trying to hand it to
McDonald, who had to step in for
Charlie Grice. Great Britain in the
lead. Holusa takes off in hot
pursuit. Very dangerous in the
latter stages. It will be
interesting to see the shape he is
in because he has not raced since
the summer and that is a significant
gap and Tom Marshall has done the
right thing. You have to get out
there and increase the gap if you
can and try to get Holusa worrying
about second place, not thinking
about first. It is a judgement. You
have to put the others under
It is almost breaking him
mentally. If you are in the shoes of
Holusa, you think it is a big gap
and you want them to spend as much
as possible not even believing it is
possible. They have to be doubting
themselves. Is that a gap I can even
dream of closing?
There is going to
be a big sprint finish, so Tom needs
to be aware of that, even in a short
race, you can make up quite a big
deficit and I promise you that
Holusa has not even started. He is
sitting and waiting. The Spaniard is
pushing things on. He has one more
look behind and it's the last
hundred and 50 metres. It looks as
though Great Britain are heading for
a gold medal, and let off by Melissa
Courtney. Cameron Boyek with a good
performance in the second leg and
then Sarah McDonald gave them the
lead. He finishes like a train, as
we expect takes the silver for the
Czech but it's great -- gold for
Great Britain and the celebrations
begin. They are the first ever Mixed
Relay cross-country champions of
A fantastic run from Tom
Marshall. He had to be nervous
stepping into the shoes Charlie
Grice is very accomplished and he
has acquitted himself really well.
They all have and I guess, Mixed
Relay, that should happen every
year. Just because we are going to
do fabulous at it.
The final result,
and the winning time is 18. 24.
Holusa almost catching Tom Marshall
but all the hard work had been done
The gold-medallists and
European Championships in the Mixed
Relay, Great Britain and Northern
A very happy British
quartet on top of the rostrum for
the Mixed Relay. Cameron Boyek and
Tom Marshall ran very well but they
were set up nicely by Sarah McDonald
and Millie Courtney. Two Welsh
members and two from the north-east
of England. A perfect Great Britain
and Northern Ireland team. And for
most people I think they will have
enjoyed watching that, a good
addition to the European Cross
country Championships, certainly
from a British perspective because
it's another gold medal for us.
These championships are always
hugely successful for the British
team and 2017 was no different.
Individually, the standout
performance was from Harriet
Knowles-Jones, rounding off her
junior career with a coveted gold
medal. Jessica Judd and Andy
Butchart continued their excellent
seasons. Team gold in the event is
testament to the dominance in Europe
and bronze for the senior men and
under 23 is with good solid
performances with the only slight
negative being the injury to Gary
Griffiths. -- Griffiths. Hopefully
he remains on track for the
Commonwealth Games next year. The
new Mixed Relay provided GB with
another gold medal and no doubt we
will welcome the additional event in
future years. That brings another
great year of athletics to a
clothes. Don't worry, plenty more to
look forward to in 2018, including
all of this. Goodbye.
The best of the action from the 2017 European Cross Country Championships in Slovakia. Great Britain finished second in the overall standings at 2016's event, winning men's team gold and individual bronze for Callum Hawkins.