A chance for Union Flag waving as GB dominated proceedings at the European Cross Country Championships in Brussells. Unsurprisingly with British success promised, BBC gave it the full treatment.
And what a start as the cameras picked up the junior women’s race with Steph Twell, Charlie Purdue and Lauren Howarth occupying the podium positions at halfway. Then Emma Pallant and Emily Pidgeon came into view – the first five?! Unprecedented. No late mistakes either, across the line in that order and just when we thought that was it, Laura Park broke out of the chasing pack to make it a clean sweep. Never seen before and probably won’t be again.
The U23 girls, led by Sarah Tunstall, also won gold. Then the senior women put in a very solid performance with Hattie Dean leading the team to silver.
The junior men also medalled, in third place, with David Forrester in 5th place. More gold in the U23s with Andy Vernon an impressive second. Finally Mo Farah looked set for victory in the senior race but the amazing Lebid, winning his eighth title, had too much for him. But nevertheless another team silver with Lee Merrien of Guernsey being 3rd counter on his international debut.
Ireland flattered to deceive. Mary Cullen did exceptionally well to finish 4th in the senior race. The other great white hope Martin Fagan fell early on when looking good and finished back in the pack.