17th February 2023


Alex Bell (coach: Andrew Henderson, club: Pudsey and Bramley) has been chosen to lead the Great Britain and Northern Ireland team at Saturday’s World Athletics Cross Country Championships in Bathurst, Australia.

The Olympic 800m finalist, who also finished sixth on the track in both the European Championships and Commonwealth Games last year, brings a wealth of cross country relay experience including taking relay gold at the European Cross Country Championships in 2021, where she also captained the team, and in 2019.

On being selected as captain Bell, who will be part of the mixed relay team, said, “I am so honoured to be asked for the second time to captain a team. I am so flattered.

“I have been talking with some of the younger athletes about how I dreamt of being able to take part in a World Cross Country Championships. As an 800m runner it was not something you thought about but now, with the mixed relay being introduced, it gives people like me the opportunity.

“With not doing indoors this is absolutely perfect for me. It is a different focus but keeps me in great form, so I am fresh and ready to go for the outdoor season.

“We have a wonderful team, small but mighty. It is a young team, but it is a brilliant opportunity and a great experience. They have every right to be here; they have proven themselves by being selected so now it is a case of enjoying and getting as much as they can from their experience out here.”

The mixed relay event kicks off the championships at 1530 (AEDT); 0430 hours (GMT).  As Bell explains this will mean she can then focus on supporting and leading her team-mates; “I will be able to get really involved afterwards to back the team to the finish-line. Everyone has recovered well from the long journey; we know it will be hot but we are very prepared and raring to go.”

Team Leader for GB & NI in Bathurst, Eamonn Martin added, “We are delighted to have Alex as team captain. She is a natural leader with a great outgoing personality alongside the talent and experience to support the team and be a great role model to the younger members.

“We are all in good shape following the journey here and visited the spectacular course today so we are excited and ready to go and perform as well as we possibly can.”

The Great Britain and Northern Ireland team for the World Athletics Cross Country Championships in Bathurst, Australia on Saturday 18 February. 

Senior Women

Abbie Donnelly (Rob Lewis, Lincoln Wellington)

Megan Keith (Ross Cairns, Inverness)

Amelia Quirk (Mick Woods, Bracknell)

Poppy Tank (Alastair and Amy Cragg, City of Plymouth)

Senior Men

Zakariya Mahamed (Idris Hamud, Southampton)

Senior Mixed Relay

Alex Bell (Andrew Henderson, Pudsey and Bramley)

Callum Elson (Cambridge and Coleridge)

Alexandra Millard (Bill Foster, Invicta East Kent)

Joe Wigfield (Craig Winrow, Wirral)

U20 Women 

Rebecca Flaherty (Karen Glerum, Bingley)

Zoe Gilbody (John Skevington, Wreake and Soar Valley)

Megan Harris (Hayley Hemmings, Chelmsford)

Hannah Ryding (Giffnock North)

U20 Men

Edward Bird (Mark Pauley, Poole AC)

Luke Birdseye (Shireen Higgins, Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow)

Jacob Deacon (Katie Hewison, Chorley)

Sam Mills (Exeter)

Timetable and results can be found HERE.

The World Athletics Cross Country Championships will be live on the BBC Red Button, BBC iPlayer and the BBC Sport website/app from 4:30am UK time. There will also be a highlights programme on BBC Two between 13:00-14:00 on Saturday 18 February.

Timetable for Saturday 18 February

1530 (AEDT) 0430 (GMT) – Mixed relay

1610 (AEDT) 0510 (GMT) – U20 Women

1650 (AEDT) 0550 (GMT) – U20 Men

1730 (AEDT) 0630 (GMT) – Senior Women

1830 (AEDT) 0730 (GMT) – Senior Men